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3M to face four more trials in massive military earplug litigation

  • 3M earplug multidistrict litigation largest in U.S. historical past
  • 3M scheduled to face 11 trials by means of May

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(Reuters) – A federal choose overseeing 1000’s of lawsuits by military veterans who say they suffered listening to harm because of utilizing faulty earplugs bought by 3M Co has scheduled four more trials in the biggest multidistrict litigation ever.

U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers in Pensacola, Florida, on Tuesday scheduled four more bellwether trials to happen from March to May. Those are in addition to seven different trials already scheduled by means of January, together with one kicking off on Oct. 18.

Rodgers will preside over that upcoming trial, however after that, different federal judges in Florida will oversee the bellwethers, or check trials utilized by events in mass tort litigation to gauge the vary of damages and outline settlement choices.

3M, which is represented by Kirkland & Ellis, in a press release stated it was “confident in our case and are prepared to vigorously defend ourselves in all upcoming trials.”

Rodgers has been pushing to attempt the instances at a speedy tempo as a part of her effort to handle an MDL that has ballooned to embrace more than 259,000 instances, probably the most which have ever been consolidated right into a federal mass tort.

Her orders got here after a jury in the fourth trial in the litigation on Friday awarded a U.S. Army veteran $8.2 million after discovering that 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 brought on him to endure listening to loss and tinnitus.

The first trial resulted in $7.1 million verdict for 3 plaintiffs in April, whereas the second ended in a victory for 3M in May. Jurors in a 3rd trial discovered 3M 62% chargeable for the $1.7 million in damages a veteran sustained.

Bryan Tailstock, a lawyer for the plaintiffs at Tailstock, Witkin, Krebs & Overholtz, stated Rodgers has additionally ordered the events to “work up” lots of of further instances so she will remand instances to judges nationally for extra trials.

The four new trials she scheduled will happen March 14, March 28, April 18 and May 9. Rodgers picked two of the instances for trial, whereas the plaintiffs and protection picked one every.

The MDL is In re 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, No. 19-md-2885.

For the plaintiffs: Bryan Aylstock of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz; Shelley Hutson of Clark, Love & Hutson; and Christopher Seeger of Seeger Weiss

For 3M: Mike Brock of Kirkland & Ellis

Read more:

3M hit with $6 mln punitive damages by U.S. jury in first fight earplug trial

3M loses third trial in large military earplug mass tort

3M hit with $8.2 million verdict in fourth military earplug trial

Nate Raymond

Nate Raymond experiences on the federal judiciary and litigation. He could be reached at nate.raymond@thomsonreuters.com.

The logo of 3M at the 3M Tilloy plant in Tilloy-Lez-Cambrai, France. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

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