3M Combat Arms Earplug Settlement Receives 100% Participation of “Wave” Plaintiffs Prepared For Trial

Remaining veterans left with hearing loss or tinnitus have until late next week to decide whether to opt in or out of the 3M Combat Arms earplugs settlement agreement.

All plaintiffs involved in a group of 3M Combat Arms lawsuits that were prepared for trial, where depositions and other case-specific discovery was completed, have agreed to participate in a $6 billion settlement proposed to resolve all claims brought by veterans who developed hearing loss or tinnitus due to a defective design of the military-issued earplugs.

In a press release issued on January 15, 3M Company announced it has reached 100% participation in a proposed $6 billion 3M Combat Arms earplug settlement from all remaining “Wave” plaintiffs, whose claims were selected for trial preparation and remand back to U.S. District Courts nationwide before an agreement was reached to resolve the litigation.

3M Company faced nearly 300,000 product liability lawsuits brought by U.S. military veterans, each involving similar allegations that they suffered permanent hearing damage due to alleged design defects with the company’s Combat Arms earplugs, which were standard military issue for all service members between 2003 and 2015.

Given common questions of fact and law raised in the litigation, all claims brought throughout the federal court system were centralized before U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers in the Northern District of Florida nearly four years ago, as part of an MDL or multidistrict litigation.

Following a series of early bellwether trials that resulted in massive damage awards, Judge Rodgers established a “wave” process where several groups including hundreds of claims were selected for additional discovery in preparation for remand back to different U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trials. However, as the court was preparing to start scheduling trials in at least 17 different federal courts, the manufacturer ultimately reached an agreement to pay nearly $6 billion to resolve the litigation, which will be funded over a five year period.

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3M Combat Arms Earplug Settlement Participation Threshold

Over the past few months, claimants have been registering their claim in the 3M Combat Arms Settlement, which requires at least 98% of eligible plaintiffs to participate or 3M can cancel the deal.

In its press release, 3M indicates that all “wave” plaintiffs have now agreed to accept their settlement offer, instead of going for with trial. The company indicates that it will pay $253.1 million to resolve this group of cases by January 31.

Other claimants who were not part of a “wave” group face a deadline late next week to determine whether they are opting into the settlement, which is expected to pay an average of less than $24,000 per claim.

In prior court orders, Judge Rodgers has indicated that plaintiffs who do not elect to participate in the settlement agreement must transition their cases from the administrative docket to the active docket, and will face strict deadlines in the further litigation of their claim, or face dismissal with prejudice, barring them from receiving any settlement.

4 Comments

  • LinFebruary 28, 2024 at 1:14 pm

    100% permanent disability from VA. Severe hearing loss and tinnitus. Please call me as soon as possible. I’ve been searching for months on this law suit

  • JamesJanuary 26, 2024 at 7:36 am

    Usmc helicopter crew chief 78 -82..I have VA documented tinnitus. I was issued 3m yellow roll to in your ear earplugs which wasn't worth crap. I should be in this class action on 3m as well.

  • TheodoreJanuary 26, 2024 at 1:03 am

    If you have significant hearing loss and migraines . I encourage you to seek compensation you put it all on the line for your country, it is just having that quality of life, before you reach the end of life.

  • ConnieJanuary 20, 2024 at 2:16 pm

    Was in military from 1973-1975, then from 1980’s till 2016. Worked security police, then on flight line as air cargo specialist, finally flight tech and flight nurse. Flew on military airplanes for over 20 years. Was medically discharged in 2016 after injury on afhaganistan. Was issued hearing via military and va. I have constant ringing in my ears and documented hearing loss. How do I get in this[Show More]Was in military from 1973-1975, then from 1980’s till 2016. Worked security police, then on flight line as air cargo specialist, finally flight tech and flight nurse. Flew on military airplanes for over 20 years. Was medically discharged in 2016 after injury on afhaganistan. Was issued hearing via military and va. I have constant ringing in my ears and documented hearing loss. How do I get in this program? Connie kohler, retired AF Lt Col.

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