3m dual-ended combat earplugs defect resulted in hearing loss.

3m dual-ended combat earplugs defect resulted in hearing loss.On July 24, 2020, a federal court denied 3M Company’s attempt to invoke the government contractor defense in MDL 2885 In re: 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation. 3M Company was attempting to use this defense to clear itself from liability in lawsuits alleging they supplied defective earplugs to the U.S. military and caused hearing damage to more than 140,000 service members and veterans.

U.S District Court Judge M. Casey Rodgers ruled that 3M Company failed “to establish the elements of the government contractor defense.” Specifically, the Court stated 3M Company “had no contractual relationship with the Army regarding the design of the CAEv2” and that “no aspect of the design for the CAEv2 was ever the subject of a procurement contract with the Army.”

Furthermore, on August 17, 2020, Judge Rodgers denied 3M Company’s attempt to certify the prior government contractor defense ruling for interlocutory appeal to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court stated that “[a]n immediate appeal would unjustifiably extend, rather than substantially shorten, the time, effort and expense” of this litigation.

The first 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms earplug bellwether case is scheduled to go to trial in the MDL in April 2021.