3M Earplug Lawsuit Average Payout
Many veterans impacted by faulty 3M earplugs have been waiting for news about their possible financial compensation. The average payout of the 3M earplug lawsuit can run into millions of dollars per plaintiff. Damages vary per plaintiff as the outcome of each case is different.
You can learn more about possible compensation for individuals who sustained hearing damage due to fault earplugs with an attorney’s help.
What Kind of Compensation Can You Expect from the 3M Earplug Lawsuit?
A 3M Earplug Lawsuit lawyer could help you seek compensation if you experienced hearing loss or other injuries due to defective 3M earplugs. The kind of compensation you receive may depend upon your specific losses. You can go over particular types of damages with a legal team.
Economic Damages for Hearing Loss
In many cases where plaintiffs won, 3M was ordered to payeconomic damages to individuals hurt due to their defective products. Economic costs are tied directly to your financial losses. You may receive compensation to cover your medical expenses, including:
- Specialist care
- Treatments and procedures
- Implants or other equipment to boost hearing
However, medical care only represents part of the economic compensation awarded in 3M lawsuit payouts. Many plaintiffs also receive damages to cover their lost wages if they could not work due to the damage to their hearing.
Non-Economic Damages for Hearing Loss
You could also recover coverage for your non-economic losses. Non-economic compensation covers losses that do not have a set dollar value but still impact your life. For example, the court may provide you with damages for your:
- Current and future pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Emotional distress
The amount of compensation you receive for your non-economic losses varies based on your personal situation. For example, faulty 3M earplugs did not cause the same amount of hearing loss in all people who used them. Generally, people with more severe hearing loss receive more non-economic damages. You can speak with a lawyer who can review the specifics of your case.
Juries also award punitive damages in many 3M cases. Punitive damages aim to penalize the company for its dangerous and negligent actions directly. In many cases, plaintiffs get far more compensation from the punitive damages than both economic and non-economic damages.
For example, in the Guillermo Camarillorazo case, the jury awarded the plaintiff over $12 million in punitive damages. The same jury awarded the plaintiff only $816,395 in other damages. However, not all juries end up awarding punitive damages. Still, in the two most recent 3M verdicts, juries awarded significantly more compensation than they had in earlier cases.
3M Settles with U.S. Justice Department Over Earplugs
The legalities behind 3M lawsuits appear complicated due to the actions the company took. In short, 3M produced and distributed defective earplugs to the U.S. armed forces from 2003 until 2015. The United States Justice Department initially took up a qui tam lawsuit against the company after a whistleblower exposed 3M’s actions. However, the Justice Department primarily focused on the fact that 3M knowingly sold the government faulty earplugs.
The government’s lawsuit focused on the regulations associated with the False Claims Act. However, instead of focusing on the losses sustained by servicemen and women, it dealt with the losses of U.S. taxpayers, who “bought” faulty goods. This legal action did not qualify as a class-action lawsuit, and the money from the settlement went directly to the U.S. Treasury. The court system resolved the case in 2018 in favor of the Justice Department.
How Much Are Veterans Getting for the Earplug Lawsuit?
3M ended up paying a $9.1 million fee to the government due to this lawsuit. Veterans did not get any portion of this money, and the case does not serve as proof that faulty earplugs led to a veteran’s issues. However, it did open the door to allow veterans to file lawsuits of their own against 3M.
In the years since 2018, multiple lawsuits have been filed against 3M, most of them ending in favor of the veterans hurt by their defective products. The amounts awarded in 3M lawsuits have been steadily increasing, as well. Compare these verdicts on the current seven successful 3M lawsuits:
- Plaintiffs Luke Estes, Stephen Hacker, and Lewis Keefer each received $2.36 million.
- Plaintiff Lloyd Baker received $1.1 million.
- Plaintiff Jacques Atkins received $8.2 million.
- Plaintiff Guillermo Camarillorazo received $12.8 million.
- Plaintiff Theodore Finley received $22 million.
Jury Awards $110 Million Judgment Against 3M in January 2022
In January 2022, a federal jury in Florida awarded two U.S. Army veterans a total of $110 million for hearing damage they suffered after using 3M’s combat earplugs, The New York Times reports. Per the newspaper’s report, the amount awarded to veterans Ronald Sloan and William Wayman is currently the largest monetary award to date. Of the $110 million, $40 million was punitive damages, while the other $15 million was compensatory damages.
The Times says that to date, 3M has won five cases, and plaintiffs have won five cases. Monies awarded have ranged from $1.7 to $22.5 million each for nine of the 14 service members in those cases. If you think you suffered ear damage after using these defective earplugs, you can discuss your opportunity to seek compensation with a personal injury lawyer handling 3M earplug cases.
How Many People Are in the 3M Earplug Lawsuit?
The number of people hurt by defective 3M earplugs may reach the hundreds of thousands. The New York Times reports that, as of January 2022, nearly 300,000 military service members and civilians are involved in litigation against 3M over its earplugs.
Service members who used earplugs in the Iraq, Gulf, and Afghanistan wars all used defective earplugs. These earplugs provided insufficient protection from loud noises, such as the discharge of firearms or explosive devices during military interventions such as:
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Ocean Shield
Some estimates put the total number of people affected by the earplugs may be in the millions. Soldiers who used the defective earplugs often developed tinnitus or even deafness. Unfortunately, medical professionals have no cure for these ailments, though some people can use hearing aids and other assistive devices to retain some portion of their hearing.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Review Your 3M Claims
You can work with a lawyer who treats you as more than a number when you reach out to our network of attorneys. They understand the full breadth of your case and treat it with the care it deserves while still focusing on your individual needs. They can discuss your time in the armed forces and the amount of time you relied on faulty earplugs.
Also, they can review your specific losses, including the amount of hearing loss you sustained due to 3M’s actions. You can connect with us to get personalized help with standing up to the powerful lawyers employed by 3M.
How Long Will the 3M Earplug Lawsuit Take?
The time it takes to resolve a lawsuit varies significantly based on the case’s facts and the judge’s discretion. However, many 3M earplug lawsuits end up resolved in a relatively short time. For example, the new trial for the Finley case stayed in court for only 13 days, from December 1, 2021, until December 13, 2021. The Finley trial also ended in a successful verdict for the plaintiff, with the jury awarding $22.5 million.
Keep in mind that the Finley jury awarded $15 million in punitive damages, making the punitive costs the largest part of the award. We understand the desire to resolve your potential 3M earplug lawsuit quickly. Many veterans face extensive medical expenses due to the damage to their hearing.
You may have a basis to file a claim against 3M if you used their earplugs and now have:
- Trouble understanding spoken words
- Ringing in your years (or tinnitus)
- Issues with your balance
All these symptoms directly relate to hearing damage caused by insufficient ear protection. Generally, you can only file a claim if you served in the military and saw active combat. Additionally, your lawyer must show that you used 3M Combat Arms earplugs. Generally, only service members who received a diagnosis regarding their hearing loss within two years of their discharge can file claims. Additionally, lawsuits are only open to those who received an honorable discharge from the armed forces.
You can review your eligibility for a 3M earplug lawsuit when you reach out to our team. A lawyer can discuss the specifics with you so you can make a legal decision regarding the best steps to take.
Design of 3M’s Earplugs Caused Complications
It’s essential to understand the acts of negligence that led to the issues with 3M’s earplugs. A company called Aearo Technologies first developed and produced these earplugs. 3M purchased this company, acquiring its legal responsibilities. The defective earplugs used a dual-ended design. This design came with one side that went directly into an individual’s ear canal. Members of the armed forces used this side to mitigate the sounds that loud equipment and explosions cause.
Soldiers used the other side of the earplugs in quieter situations, so they could hear instructions or commands, allowing them to operate more effectively. However, these dual-ended earplugs ended up being too short to fit correctly. Therefore, individuals using the earplugs were exposed to dangerously loud sounds while believing they were receiving appropriate protection. The earplugs could easily slip out of place, fully exposing soldiers to explosions, gunfire, and more.
Tinnitus, Hearing Loss Linked to Earplugs Use
Medical science cannot yet “cure” hearing loss. Instead, injured soldiers often receive medical devices designed to assist their hearing. However, these devices cannot undo an individual’s hearing problems. Many soldiers who used these faulty earplugs ended up losing their hearing enough to qualify for disability benefits. The government issues the benefits based on the severity of a soldier’s injuries, not their financial need.
Note that you may only qualify for compensation through a 3M earplug lawsuit if you received a medical diagnosis for hearing loss in the two years immediately after your discharge from the armed forces. In some cases, 3M may claim that your hearing loss came from a different source. The company has hired highly skilled lawyers to defend them in court. In three cases thus far, these lawyers managed to protect their clients.
A mass tort lawsuit attorney can examine the root causes of your hearing loss and focus on gathering up the appropriate medical records to build your claim. They can review the records of your time in service, as well, to verify that you served during the period when the faulty earplugs were in regular usage.
A 3M Earplug Lawsuit Attorney Can Review Your Case
You don’t have to try to take on a large company like 3M on your own if you lost your hearing because of its defective earplugs. Instead, you can reach out to get comprehensive help right away. Lawyers can monitor the average payouts for 3M earplug lawsuits and stay informed about the cases moving through the court system. In some cases, veterans who go up against 3M are awarded millions of dollars in compensation.
You can use your compensation to cover the costs to purchase assistive technology, like hearing aids. Other veterans exposed to dangerously loud noises develop tinnitus, which may lead to:
- Mood changes
Tinnitus may even lead to vision changes in some situations. Because there currently are no treatments, as mentioned earlier, that cure either hearing loss or tinnitus, you could receive compensation for your pain and suffering. Make sure to keep all medical paperwork that is associated with your diagnosis. Your lawyer may require this information so that they can build your case. There’s also a chance that 3M could decide to start settling earplugs claims, although so far, it has fought each case in court.
Get Legal Help for Your 3M Earplug Case Today
If your hearing has been damaged after using 3M’s defective earplugs, you could have a case for compensation. A 3M Earplug Lawsuit lawyer can address your questions and concerns, and you can receive professional legal counsel that informs your next steps. You can explore your legal options now. Fill out the contact form to get help with your 3M earplug case.