On October 1, a jury reached a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and awarded him $8.2 million in damages in the fourth bellwether trial in the Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) litigation. We do not believe the plaintiff met his burden of proving his allegations, and we are evaluating our legal options.
This verdict is just the first step in this litigation with many more cases to be tried before different juries. There have only been four trials so far: one jury agreed with our case in its entirety, and another found the product was not defective as part of its verdict in favor of 3M on four of the plaintiff’s five claims. We are ready to defend ourselves against plaintiffs’ allegations at all upcoming trials.
The next trial is scheduled for October 18-29, with another five more scheduled through the end of 2021 – two trials November 1-12, one November 30-December 10, and two trials December 6-17.
In August, the Court made a series of rulings to quicken the pace of this litigation, allowing, among other things, for cases to be tried simultaneously before additional federal judges. Though it is unclear how many cases will actually be subject to trial, the Court has ordered the parties to prepare 1,500 cases for trial.
The Court also found that the administrative docket, which was created in order to vet claims in this litigation in a timely and effective manner, was not fulfilling its purpose. It therefore is requiring all claims on the administrative docket to be either moved to the active litigation docket or dismissed without prejudice by summer 2022. As made clear from the beginning, the claimants listed on the administrative docket do not necessarily represent plaintiffs whose cases will be litigated. The procedures outlined by the Court in its August order will likely impact the total number of plaintiffs with claims subject to litigation.
The CAEv2 product has always been safe and effective to use. We remain confident in our case and are ready to defend ourselves against plaintiffs’ allegations at all upcoming trials.