3M Hit With $77.5M Verdict In Final Bellwether Earplug Trial

By Daniel Wilson (May 20, 2022, 7:57 PM EDT) -- A Florida federal jury on Friday awarded $77.5 million in damages to a former soldier who alleged his hearing loss was caused by faulty 3M Co. earplugs, in the 16th bellwether trial in multidistrict litigation against the manufacturing giant.

According to a verdict form, the jury awarded James Beal $5 million in compensatory damages and $72.5 million in punitive damages for his bilateral tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss, which Beal alleged resulted from defective 3M-made CAEv2 combat arms earplugs he wore throughout serving in the U.S. Army.

Beal had said he was exposed to noise from a variety of weapons while...

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