- What You Should Know about the Military Earplug Litigation
- The 3M Settlement is Not a CLASS ACTION
- Hundreds of Individual Lawsuits are Being Filed
- A Multi-District Litigation Will Be Created
- Learn How to File an Army Earplug Hearing Loss Claim
There has been much confusion over a recent lawsuit settlement between the US government and a whistle blower that resulted in $9 million. Many believe this is a final settlement, when it is actually only the beginning.
One of the most negative aspects of social media is that few people actually read a story beyond a headline and a bullet point.
As I have been marketing legal services to victims of the 3M earplug litigation the most common comment I receive is a version of “If there is only $9 Million in the Army Earplug Settlement, I’m only going to get a Dollar!!!!” There a few misconceptions that need to be cleared up regarding this pending litigation.
This is not LEGAL ADVICE. These are public facts with links supporting it. I am not an attorney, just an advocate for victims and a marketing expert. If you wish to seek legal advice, please visit www.lawanswers.org and we would be happy to connect you with legal counsel regarding your possible 3M Military Earplug Lawsuit.
Now: A few “things to know” about the 3M Defective Earplug Litigation. This IS NOT a CLASS ACTION.
Many misconceptions have been derived from the announcement of a settlement of $9 million between the US Government and a Whistleblower with 3M regarding defective earplugs.
Spoiler Alert: $9 million dollar settlement did not give a dime to veterans that were victims of 3M’s fraud.
A telling quote from a recent article by Jay Price | The American Homefront Project:
3M paid $9.1 million to the government and a whistle blower to settle the claim, but in the settlement did not admit liability or guilt.
None of the settlement money went to the former service members who wore the earplugs.
How the payment broke down is as follows:
- According to the Department of Justice, the whistleblower received $1.9 million.
- The “$9 Million Dollar Settlement” was brought under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act.
- The remaining $7.1 Million dollars assumedly was paid to the US Government. The SAME government that awarded 3M the earplug contract.
- No victims of these possibly defective earplugs have been compensation to date.
2) 3M Has Yet to Admit Fault
This is where this get’s tricky.
3M settled with the government for $9.1 million. They however did not admit liability for these possibly defective earplugs. The US government however, still claims that 3M KNEW these army earplugs had a defective design. The Department of Justice has recently stated, “3M employees were aware of the defects … several years before 3M Aearo became the exclusive provider of the earplugs to the military.”
3M purchased Aearo Technologies in 2008. Aearo Technologies was the company that originally created and produced these earplugs.
New product liability lawsuits, outside of the $9 million government settlement are now being filed claiming 3M knew these earplugs were too short and thus defective. Hundreds of Military Earplug lawsuits have already been filed, with thousands more expected. In quote from milbankmonitor.com, they site the following quote:
“According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, more than half (52 percent) of combat soldiers return home with moderate or severe hearing loss. It costs taxpayers an estimated $1 billion to treat the problem.”
With these types of numbers, the amount of 3M Army Earplug lawsuits could be massive, which leads us to “things you should know #3”
3) Yes, there will be a 3M Army Earplug Multi-District Litigation created soon
There have been rumors of the creation of a 3M Military Earplug litigation for the past few months.
After hundreds of new Military Earplug lawsuits have been filed there are now more reports of a Military Earplug Multi-District Litigation starting in Minnesota. There have been other mentions of lawyers pushing for the MDL to be created in Missouri or Louisiana.
Law.com has a quote from Mikal Watts of Watts Guerra who has filed an Army Earplug lawsuit on behalf of a client, which says regarding the Army earplug MDL: “The number of potential plaintiffs will be massive.” Mr. Watts went on to estimate the number of Army hearing loss claims could be in the hundreds of thousands.
Attorney Jay Miller, lead attorney with the Peter Angelos law firm was recently quoted in the Baltimore Sun saying “he expects the cases will become what’s called multidistrict litigation, a legal procedure for complex cases in federal court in which common cases are consolidated in one district for pretrial proceedings and discovery.”
An Army Earplug MDL would allow for the mass collection of discovery, saving money for all involved in these lawsuits. Bellwether Army earplugs trials would then follow after all the evidence is collected and consolidated.
4) How Do I File an Army Earplug Lawsuit Claim
There are now literally hundreds of law firms currently investigating Army Earplug cases. Again, this is not legal advice, but common sense practices. I personally choose my attorneys like I would choose any other professional service, be it my doctor, my dentist, my accountant, my financial advisors, etc.
An experienced legal team should be able to easily walk you through the claim process, make you feel comfortable and aware of all the aspects of your claim without burdening you.
An experienced legal team will invest it’s resources in making the process easier for you, the victim, whether that’s tracking down your medical records, making sure all the proper deadlines are met, and then overall mapping out the best plan to ensure you a maximum recovery.
Also, Military Combat Earplugs lawsuits would be filed on a contingency basis. Which means that there would be no upfront costs to file a hearing loss claim. The law firm which would represent you invests the legal costs to start your claim and only gets compensated if they are able to obtain a recovery.
In full disclosure and disclaimer, I am the owner of LawAnswsers.org which is a free matching service only and is not responsible for services or information from third party providers.
If you would like to speak with a legal representative regarding your potential Military Earplug Claim, please complete to contact form here.