Recently the Bairs Foundation was asked to fund a plaintiff who is a part of the ongoing lawsuits against 3M. These lawsuits concern the combat earplugs that soldiers and other members of the armed forces wore during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan throughout the early 2000s. It was alleged that 3M failed to provide adequate safety warnings, hid design flaws, and skewed lab test results. Plaintiffs have claimed that these failures caused severe injuries to those wearing them. The main injury that soldiers suffer from is tinnitus.
Thus far, there have been three bellwether trials. 3M has now lost two of three trials with the most recent loss coming June 18, 2021. In this trial the jury found 3M did not provide adequate safety warnings for the combat earplugs, which resulted in the plaintiff suffering from tinnitus. He was awarded $1.7 million in damages.
Currently, there are more than 230,000 claims by veterans and other servicemembers against the company. It is the largest consolidated federal mass tort in U.S. history. More victims are expected to come forward as they become aware of the suit. Over 1 million veterans receive benefits for hearing loss. It is the leading service-related disability. Furthermore, there are over a thousand cases against 3M currently pending in Minnesota state court. So far 3M has been unsuccessful in removing these cases from state court. These cases are promising and could further prove liability against 3M.
The Bairs Foundation will continue to monitor the MDL and other state court trials as they unfold. The foundation seeks to help people who have suffered injuries and need assistance as they pursue their claims. Oftentimes, suits against large corporations such as 3M can take several years to unfold, and it may be even longer before plaintiffs receive funds. It is especially important to us at the Bairs Foundation to help veterans, as they have already given so much in service of the country. The funds the foundation disburses are crucial to plaintiffs to who are struggling to make ends meet. It is our honor to assist them and all future applicants.