Theodore Finley, who served in the U.S. Army from 2006 to 2014, was the Plaintiff in the most recent Bellwether Trial against 3M. Mr. Finley developed tinnitus and hearing loss in both ears while he was exposed to weapon fire, generators, mechanized vehicles, and helicopters in training and combat. He wore 3M’s earplugs during his service, believing they were protecting his hearing. Sadly, the earplugs were defective, and astonishingly, 3M knew they were defective but sold them to the U.S. Government anyway.
The jury in north Florida awarded Mr. Finley $22.5 million – $7.5 million in compensatory damages (i.e., for Mr. Finley’s pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life) and $15 million in punitive damages (i.e., to punish 3M for its reprehensible conduct). To date, this is the largest verdict in the series of cases that have been brought against 3M.
In the previous four Bellwether cases in which the Plaintiffs prevailed, juries have awarded about $30 million combined. Unfortunately, in three of the eight Bellwether cases, 3M prevailed, meaning there was no award for the Plaintiff Servicemembers in those cases.
Thus, at about the halfway point for these Bellwether cases, Plaintiffs have prevailed in 5 cases and 3M has prevailed in 3 cases. But given the size of the verdicts for the Plaintiffs, momentum is on their side.
Next Round of Bellwether Trials Scheduled for 2022
Here is the slate of the next round of Bellwether Trials, which will be tried in front of Judge M. Casey Rodgers or Judge Lisa Wood:
McNeal v. 3M: March 14, 2022 – March 25, 2022
Wilkerson v. 3M: March 14, 2022 - March 25, 2022
Kelley v. 3M: March 28, 2022 – April 8, 2022
Vaughn v. 3M: April 18, 2022 – April 29, 2022
Vilsmeyer v. 3M: May 9, 2022 – May 20, 2022
If you or someone you know used the 3M earplugs in the military between 2003 and 2015 and sustained hearing loss or now deals with tinnitus or some other hearing issue, here's what you need to do:
- Hold onto your 3M earplugs (CAEv2) if you still have them.
- Gather any photos or videos showing you wearing the CAEv2 earplugs.
- Make a list of the base(s) you served on while using your CAEv2 earplugs.
- Summarize your exposure to IEDs or EFPs during your service.
- Keep a copy of your DD Form 214 and any other military paperwork dealing with hearing loss, discharge, or service-related disability.
- Gather your medical records that show the treatment you’ve received for your hearing loss or other hearing issues.
3M Earplug Attorney
You need to speak to a personal injury attorney who understands the litigation against 3M and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Please call Bailey | Stock | Harmon | Cottam | Lopez LLP at (307) 222-4932 and ask for Doug Bailey right away for a free consultation. The time to register your case in this historic multidistrict litigation is running out.