A jury on January 27 ruled in favor of two plaintiffs in the latest bellwether trial of the Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) litigation. Unlike some previous trials, multiple plaintiffs were consolidated into one jury trial. This verdict demonstrates how this approach can cause confusion and ultimately affect the outcome. We plan to appeal the decision, including the damages awarded.
This latest verdict comes on the heels of two consecutive defense verdicts in which 3M successfully defended that the CAEv2 product was effective and safe to use.
This concludes the eleventh CAEv2 bellwether trial. During this process, 3M has won five of the cases that have been brought to trial. In addition, plaintiffs have seen the strength in our defense by voluntarily dismissing roughly 30 percent of bellwether cases rather than take them to a jury. The overall mixed record in this bellwether process shows the uphill climb plaintiffs face in this litigation, and that each case must be considered on its own facts and circumstances.
The next trial is slated to take place in Pensacola, Florida in March.
We understand how these lawsuits and the associated media coverage can cause some people to question 3M’s longstanding record of providing high-quality products for use by the military.
Here are the facts:
3M’s defense is rooted in the fact that the CAEv2 was effective and safe to use, and our conduct was consistent with the company’s values and our longtime commitment to keeping our U.S. military safe. We will continue to vigorously defend ourselves throughout this litigation.