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

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

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(Reuters) – A federal choose overseeing 1000’s of lawsuits by military veterans who say they suffered listening to injury on account of utilizing faulty earplugs offered by 3M Co has scheduled four more trials in the most important multidistrict litigation ever.

U.S. District Decide M. Casey Rodgers in Pensacola, Florida, on Tuesday scheduled four more bellwether trials to happen from March to Could. These are in addition to seven different trials already scheduled by way 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 an announcement 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 circumstances at a fast tempo as a part of her effort to handle an MDL that has ballooned to embrace more than 259,000 circumstances, essentially 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. Military veteran $8.2 million after discovering that 3M’s Fight Arms Earplugs Model 2 prompted him to endure listening to loss and tinnitus.

The primary trial resulted in $7.1 million verdict for 3 plaintiffs in April, whereas the second ended in a victory for 3M in Could. Jurors in a 3rd trial discovered 3M 62% responsible 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” tons of of further circumstances so she will be able to remand circumstances to judges nationally for added trials.

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

The MDL is In re 3M Fight Arms Earplug Merchandise Legal responsibility Litigation, U.S. District Courtroom, 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

Learn more:

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

3M loses third trial in big military earplug mass tort

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

Nate Raymond

Nate Raymond stories on the federal judiciary and litigation. He will be reached at [email protected]