$110 Million Jury Verdict in Latest 3M Earplugs Bellwether

On January 27, 2022, a federal jury in Pensacola, Florida, awarded two veterans $110 million in damages for hearing loss and tinnitus, which they suffered as a result of using 3M’s Combat Arms version 2 (“CAEv2”) earplugs during their military service.  The verdict represents $15 million in compensatory damages and $40 million in punitive damages for each plaintiff. It is the largest verdict thus far in the MDL—more than double all other bellwether verdicts combined.

Ciresi Conlin attorneys Michael Sacchet and Megan Odom were part of the team who tried the case. Sacchet conducted key direct and cross examinations, while Odom handled legal argument. “Much of the jury’s verdict was to punish 3M for its conduct and concealing its knowledge of a defective earplug for 15 years,” said Sacchet.

Sacchet and Odom participated in three bellwether trial teams, where the juries awarded $8.2 million, $7.1 million, and $1.7 million. Five additional bellwether trials are scheduled for 2022.

Read more about the case from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the New York Times, and Law360.