150,236 Veterans File Personal Injury Suits Alleging Defective 3M Earplugs
(27 Jul 2020) Lawsuits filed each month by veterans claiming that they had suffered hearing loss and other hearing-related problems as a result of defective 3M-supplied earplugs have not been slowed by the partial court shutdown caused by the coronavirus. As of the end of June, a total of 150,236 suits have been filed between January and June of 2020. In June alone, a total of 23,608 new suits were filed.

To place the surge of lawsuits filed by veterans into perspective, during the last six months just 131,422 other suits—after excluding veterans' suits against 3M—were filed all throughout the country. During this six-month period these veterans' suits against the 3M Company accounted for over half (53.3%) of all federal civil lawsuits of all types filed across the entire U.S. Trends in non-veterans' suits have also held fairly steady and do not appear to be impacted by the coronavirus.

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. 3M contends that they produced the earplugs in accordance to military specifications and informed the military of the results of product testing.

These suits have been consolidated and assigned United States District Judge M. Casey Rodgers in the Northern District of Florida (case 3:19-md-2885). 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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