November 16, 2021

Largest 3M Combat Arms Earplug Verdict, $13 Million, Awarded in Latest Bellwether Trial

A jury has awarded a U.S. Army sergeant $13 million dollars as a result of hearing loss and tinnitus caused by using 3M Combat Arms Earplugs version 2 (CAEv2) during his military service. This was the seventh bellwether trial of the consolidated litigation, and the largest verdict for an individual plaintiff. Nine plaintiffs’ cases have been tried, and six of the verdicts have been in favor of the plaintiffs.

Sergeant Guillermo Camarillorazo is still on active duty with the Army, and testified in his trial. He enlisted in the military and served five tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is returning to active duty this week. As a result of using the defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, he has hearing loss and ringing in his ears. Sgt. Camarillorazo’s trial team secured a verdict of $816,395 in compensatory damages and $12.245 million in punitives on his behalf, finding 3M 100% liable.  The punitive damages are intended to punish the 3M corporation for conduct that was grossly negligent or intentional.

The MDL is called “In re 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation”, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, No. 19-md-2885. With over 250,000 cases pending, the majority consolidated before U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers in the Northern District of Florida, it is the largest class action multidistrict litigation in history. The first five plaintiff’s cases were tried before Judge Rodgers. Sgt. Camarillorazo’s trials was held before Northern District of Florida Chief Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee, Florida. Congratulations to the trial team of Jennifer Hoekstra, Thomas Pirtle, and Paul Pennock.

From 2003 until 2015, 3M Company sold and distributed millions of pairs of defective Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 to the U.S. military. Service members allege they suffered hearing loss and other hearing injuries because their earplugs were defective and did not protect them from dangerous noise. 3M denies all claims and has indicated it plans to appeal this verdict. In 2018, 3M agreed to pay the U.S. government $9.1 million dollars to settle the allegations that it knowingly sold defective earplugs to the Department of Defense for use by U.S. servicemembers.

You may be eligible to file a 3M Combat Arms Earplug lawsuit if you served in the military between 2003 and 2015; the military issued you dual-sided 3M Combat Arms Earplugs that you used; and you now suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hearing loss, or some other hearing condition.

If you have tinnitus, hearing loss or other hearing problems you believe are connected to using defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, you should seek medical care from your health care provider. Military service members who served at any time from 2003 to 2015 may be entitled to compensation from 3M for damages to their hearing. Please call our toll free number at (833) 748-8287 for a free consultation with one of Thornton Law Firm’s 3M Combat Arms Earplugs lawyers. Or tell us your story here using this online form  to discuss your potential legal options with an experienced products liability attorney.

The claims will be brought against 3M Company, the private corporation that sold the defective CAEv2 earplugs. We are not bringing claims against the U.S. government or the U.S. military.

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