|(22 Apr 2020)
New federal civil lawsuits filed in March continue to rise, driven by an ongoing surge of lawsuits filed by tens of thousands of veterans claiming that they suffered hearing loss and other hearing-related problems as a result of defective 3M-supplied earplugs.
As of the end of March, a total of 51,307 suits have been filed. Most were filed during January through March of this year. In March alone, a total of 22,995 suits were filed.
To put the surge of lawsuits filed by veterans in perspective, during March these veterans' suits against the 3M Company accounted for over half of all federal civil lawsuits of all types filed across the entire United States.
These suits are classified as "personal injury - product liability" cases in the federal court data. The veterans' suits claimed that 3M knew these earplugs had defects but sold them to the Army anyway without disclosing this information to the Army or warning the public.
The veterans' lawsuits against 3M are not distributed in federal courts throughout the country. Back in April of 2019 as filings began to grow, a judicial panel consolidated veterans' cases involving these allegedly defective 3M earplugs and assigned United States District Judge M. Casey Rodgers in the Northern District of Florida to handle their pretrial matters since they involved common issues and questions of fact about the "design, testing, sale, and marketing of the Combat Arms Earplugs."
These results are based on case-by-case court records on federal civil lawsuits analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University.
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