Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - Tens of thousands of veterans have now joined litigation against 3M for faulty Combat Arms earplugs that have led to hearing loss and damage. These cases are progressing rapidly, and as they move through the court system, our team at OnderLaw remains actively involved.
As we've discussed previously, 3M Combat Arms litigation is NOT a class action lawsuit. It is a multidistrict litigation (MDL), meaning thousands of cases are consolidated into a single court so that they can be more easily managed. 3M Combat Arms cases will be heard in Federal District Court in the Northern District of Florida.
Currently, legal teams from across the country are in the process of selecting cases to be heard in what is referred to as "bellwether" trials. These trials involve cases representative of certain variables. Bellwether trials are a normal part of the MDL process, and they allow the parties involved to determine factors that juries and the court deem favorable or unfavorable for a case.
Though plaintiffs' attorneys play a part in selecting which cases will be heard as bellwether trials, ultimately the judge and the defense also have roles in selecting these cases.
The first 3M Combat Arms bellwether trial is slated to begin in early 2021. When it does, we will keep you posted.
Often, corporations will take a wait-and-see attitude, avoiding settlement talks until bellwether cases help them to determine what potential losses they may face should they continue to go to trial. These initial trials will also give us a good idea as to what potential settlement, if any, your case might reach.
Is My Case Going to Trial?
If your case is chosen for a bellwether trial, or if there are any other updates in your case, we will notify you. In the meantime, no news is still good news: your case is still moving toward resolution.
We understand that the long periods of time that can pass without news are frustrating, but just because there are no updates doesn't mean nothing is happening.
The legal process can be tedious, and as plaintiffs' attorneys, we are at the mercy of often-overloaded court dockets, conflicting schedules, continuances, and delays. Large cases like this can and do take years to resolve. In the meantime, our team of attorneys and paralegals remain vigilant in making sure your case and the cases of your fellow service members are ready to go.
Why We're Fighting for You
We believe that 3M pushed an ineffective product to market and, for years, took advantage of their history as a trusted supplier to avoid responsibility for harm they caused to the men and women serving our country.
The U.S. Department of Justice has already sued 3M over Combat Arms earplugs and won. They received $9.1 million under the False Claims Act, meaning that, without admitting guilt, 3M was held responsible for selling a product to the military that did not do what 3M said it would -- which was to protect hearing during combat or training situations.
Unfortunately, none of that settlement money went to the soldiers whose lives were affected by faulty earplugs. It is now up to us, and our trusted legal colleagues from across the country, to hold 3M truly accountable for the damage they caused, and to compensate service members for the damage and losses they have endured.
It is a great pleasure to represent you and to advocate for the men and women who have so honorably served our country. Thank you for your service, and thank you for putting your trust in OnderLaw, LLC.
OnderLaw, LLC in St. Louis has developed a solid reputation of excellence as a personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. The Onder Law Firm has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, including Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, Actos, Risperdal and others. The Onder Law Firm has won verdicts of more than $300 million in talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits, and has more experience representing Bayer/Monsanto glyphosate cancer victims than any other law firm in the country.