On May 28, the jury reached a verdict siding with 3M in the second bellwether trial regarding the company’s Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) product. We are pleased with the verdict and will continue to vigorously defend ourselves in upcoming trials. The Combat Arms Earplug Version 2 product is and has always been safe and effective to use.
This was the second of three so-called bellwether trials in this multi-district litigation. Each case must be proven on its own facts and each plaintiff must prove that he or she is in fact injured and that those claimed injuries were actually caused by the CAEv2 product. This plaintiff could not meet that burden.
The third bellwether trial is scheduled for June 7, and we are ready to defend ourselves.
You may see media coverage of the trial in the days and weeks to follow. Here are some essential facts to keep in mind:
- 3M has supplied Combat Arms Earplugs to the U.S. military for more than a decade and continues to do so.
- At all times 3M’s conduct with respect to the CAEv2 product was consistent with the company’s values and longtime commitment to keeping our U.S. military safe.
- The CAEv2 represented a significant innovation in hearing protection. They were the first earplugs to offer protection from high-level impulse noises – like gunfire – while still allowing the user to hear lower-level sounds – like speech – with limited interruption.
- The product’s design reflected features requested and accepted by individuals acting on the U.S. military’s behalf. Testing by the military, 3M and Aearo, as well as independent labs and other organizations, confirmed that the CAEv2 product decreased noise as intended at every frequency. For years, the CAEv2 product was repeatedly tested by groups within the U.S. military and found to have met its expectations.
- 3M shared information with the U.S. military about the importance of proper fitting for the CAEv2 product, and the military requested that it be responsible for providing fitting instructions to service members. When used according to those fitting instructions, the CAEv2 helped to provide hearing protection to service members in combat environments.
- Hearing loss has unfortunately always been a potential side effect for individuals serving in the military. The CAEv2 product was designed to mitigate against those risks and worked as intended.