After the District Court trials, 3M placed the Aearo subsidiary in Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Indiana. Hopefully I won't need it again but if I do, I have definitely found my lawyer for life and I would definitely recommend this office to anyone! Day 12 of the trial marked the close of 3Ms defense case. How Do You Qualify For A Earplug Lawsuit? 3M argued that the earplugs MDL is overrun with bogus claims by plaintiffs who are not being vetted and dismissed from the case. In an official company statement, 3M described the verdict in Palanki as an important demonstration that jurors agree 3Ms CAEv2 product was safe and effective to use. But then the big verdict came just a few days later. More delay unless there is a settlement. The plaintiffs have subpoenaed Berger as a witness in all of the 3M bellwether trials because his testimony is critical to establishing that there were known design flaws in the earplugs and they were not fully communicated to the Army. Judge Rodgers pointed out that she told juries that the companies were one and the same without any objection from defense lawyers. The Motion seeks to have the Aearo Chapter 11 bankruptcy immediately dismissed based on the grounds outlined in the recent ruling by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in the talc bankruptcy initiated by J&J. What in the world is going on here? Rhodes claimed that the proposed bankruptcy trust fund of $1 billion is a fair valuation for all earplugs claims. "@type": "Answer", The U.S. approved reasonably precise specifications; The equipment conformed to those precise specifications; and. So we expect (an incorrect assumption in hindsight) the bankruptcy judge to rule before the end of tomorrow whether 3M lawsuits will be paused for the Aearo bankruptcy in the 3M earplug litigation. The Order concludes by imposing full liability for the earplug claims on 3M and barring it from attempting to shift liability to Aearo. In her Order, Judge Rodgers explains that after years of efforts to mediate a settlement, 3M has recently advised the court that it is determined to force the claims to be settled in the Aearo bankruptcy and, therefore, it has no desire to reach a global resolution in the MDL. Talks are ongoing in the bankruptcy court. You can reach our earplug lawyers at 800-553-8082 for a free consultation. Why? Each trial will involve large blocks of consolidated plaintiffs. The judge will issue a show cause order and hold a hearing to determine whether 3M acted in bad faith by filing bankruptcy immediately after participating in a settlement mediation. On Day 5, the jury heard from Dr. Mark Packer, an Ear Nose & Throat expert from Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. The transcript passed on to us by a veteran represented by another law firm is depressing. This is encouraging news. May 10, 2022 Update: Yesterday marked the beginning of the end of the 3M earplug lawsuit bellwether trials. Nearly one-quarter of plaintiffs whose hearing is impaired under AMA or WHO standards had those conditions before using 3M earplugs, the company added. It is all upside for you. August 29, 2022: This Fortune article has a quote that is on point: Like most things that sound too good to be true, [the bankruptcy option] was. 3M has a choice. Now that the bankruptcy play has failed, Judge Rodgers is pushing both sides to go back to the settlement table again. Thursday morning on Day 4 in the Sloan/Wayman trial, the jury heard short video deposition testimony from three fact witnesses. The last case I referred to them settled for $1.2 million. Judge Rodgers ruled that KY law does not allow prejudgment interest on awards for bodily harm.. James M. Carr, be appointed as a second mediator in the MDL settlement mediation. But Judge Rodgers has been steadfast about dismissing claims that are not viable. The $110 million verdict against 3M in the Sloan/Wayman bellwether trial is starting to draw the attention of people 3M cares about Wall Street analysts and investors. One big issue no one can answer: how many truly viable 3M lawsuits are there? They were developed by Aearo Technologies, which eventually sold their company to 3M. But it is just not likely this weekend. Berger was one of the people directly involved in the original design and testing of the 3M earplugs at issue in the lawsuits and he has been a critical witness in all of the cases. Has Anyone Received a Settlement In the 3M Earplug Lawsuit? Judge Rodgers is openly questioning whether the 3M settlement talks were in good faith. I suspect the vast majority of these hearing loss and tinnitus lawsuits are strong claims. Is that a lot of money? This insultingly low amount would net each plaintiff a mere $5,000. Will Filing a 3M Earplug Lawsuit Affect My Disability? 3M will now be able to present certain arguments in the Aearo bankruptcy without the risk of being held in contempt of court by Judge Rodgers. After hearing closing arguments from both sides, the jury went back to deliberate the case after lunchtime on Friday, November 12. Text. The motion argues that the stay should not apply to these suits because they do not involve claims of direct liability against Aearo. They just want the compensation payout they deserve. 3M needs to wake up and offer reasonable settlement amounts to these soldiers. Thousands of individual plaintiffs have filed claims against 3M in the defective earplugs lawsuits. Judge Rodgers correctly pointed out that Wilkersons bankruptcy was a Chp. This prompted lawyers for the MDL plaintiffs to argue that K&E could not simultaneously represent Aearo in its bankruptcy because it presented a conflict of interest. In her Order staying the MDL, Judge Rodgers made clear will certify that decision for an immediate interlocutory appeal. There have now been 7 bellwether test trials in the 3M earplugs litigation. Why? April 8, 2022 Update:The 8th day of the trialfeatured the cross-examination of 3Ms witness Dr. Casali. Veterans care about fair compensation. by Roy D. Oppenheim. But a 3M earplug settlement will be complicated and will be fraught with peril for 3M. Our lawyers believe there could be a global settlement in 2023. July 26, 2022: 3M announced today that it will seek to resolve the earplug claims in bankruptcy. July 11, 2022: The one thing we do not want to do in a 3M earplug settlement is minimize the differences between the strength of the claims in the final settlement amounts. So 3M is putting all of its eggs in the basket of a successful bankruptcy appeal and winning the successor liability appeal of the sanctions imposed by Judge Rodgers. May 17, 2022: Lets get you up to speed on what is happening in the Beal trial. It has filed similar motions in all previous trials under Texas law. Retired judge Mark Falk and veteran settlement negotiator Ellen Reisman will assist Ms. Ellis. If the 3Ms appeal of the bankruptcy court decision is denied, however, this will all be moot. But you have to understand there are over 200,000 lawsuits as of December 2022 and there are few if any developments in individual cases. The first defense witness was 3M scientist Dr. Eric Fallon, former chief Audiologist at Walter Reed Medical Center. January 21, 2023 Update: Mediators Christopher Sontchi and Randi Ellis updated the bankruptcy court in Indiana that they will have a settlement mediation in early February.. Like the J&J case, Aearo has a funding backstop from its parent, which means it would not face the risk of financial distress because, ironically, a huge company was willing to pay its debts. Over the past two years, military plaintiffs won 10 of 16 earplug bellwether . She also said she would allow an immediate appeal of her successor liability ruling, a strong signal she may rule for the plaintiffs. Most 3M earplug lawsuits rely on the legal concept of product liability, in which a plaintiff seeks to hold a manufacturer responsible for health problems caused by an unreasonably dangerous or otherwise defective product. On Day 6, the jury was presented with short video deposition clips from several different fact witnesses including the plaintiffs wife, Heather Beal, and several other people who are presumably friends or family members of the plaintiff. The cases were consolidated in the Northern District of Florida under Judge M. Casey Rodgers. Conversely, if this appeal fails as I strongly suspect that it will, 3Ms quiver is empty and settlements become that much harder. These kinds of cases can be quite complex. Lets go back to the individual settlement value of these cases because all victims have a keen interest in claim value. Yet, there was nary a whisper that Aearo, and not 3M, was the only proper target, or even a target. The motion sought a stay on the enforcement of the Courts recently entered All Writs Act injunction, the ruling that 3M may not ask other courts to reconsider Judge Rodgers rulings in the 3M earplug class action lawsuit. These dismissals may seem like a setback for the plaintiffs, but they actually might help to facilitate a global settlement of the remaining earplug claims. Camarillorazo had much stronger medical evidence to support his alleged hearing loss and tinnitus. But is it not important in the litigation. Settlement is still an uphill slog. Need an attorney for the 3M Earplug Lawsuit? However, the most recent summary judgment motion has a much better chance of success. There are few of you out there who have yet to bring a lawsuit. Then suddenly the system is broken. There are currently about 233,000 cases in the MDL (down from the high of 282,902) and these cases will soon be returned to their home districts for trial in massive blocks of 500 lawsuits at a time. You can read the transcript of this for yourself. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Palanki was a 50-year-old Tennessee resident and veteran of both the U.S. Army and National Guard. Data day is often as it is in this case facilitated by a third-party vendor who can assist with managing the data and facilitating the review process. We get it. July 27, 2022 Update: 3Ms new strategy to resolve the earplug lawsuits in a bankruptcy proceeding is being directed by new legal counsel that the company recently retained to help deal with their mounting litigation troubles. 3M Co. said U.S. Department of Defense records for more than 175,000 plaintiffs show that most claimants in Combat Arms earplug litigation have normal hearing under medically accepted . The claimants in this MDL are all veterans who have fought and sacrificed their lives for the sake of the country's honor. Judge Rodgers stuck the motion as improper, chastising 3M that the court docket is not a repository for lawyers to preview future litigation strategies.. At that point, why not keep trying these cases when the average successful jury payout is around $20 million? Mr. Berger is a retired scientist from 3Ms Personal Safety Division and an expert in audiology. During that presentation, Judge Rodgers noted that the data was subject to multiple interpretations and that 3M has chosen to interpret it in a way that is most advantageous to its position. Lets assume there are 200,000 legitimate cases, and the average settlement payout is $100,000 per person. This article will dive into several aspects of the 3M lawsuit. Your attorney should be in regular contact with you. " The objection is based on procedural grounds and will likely be granted. Palanki was one of the bellwether cases selected by 3Ms defense team because they believed it presented favorable facts. 3M did cancel some Wave 3 depositions and the judge ordered 3M to pay the attorneys fees and costs associated with the cancellation. But with these three trials completed, it is hard to say what will get 3M in more of a reasonable settlement posture. 3M cannot even make this argument to the jury, the court ruled, because no reasonable jury could conclude that the military made Aearo/3M do anything. It is just a question of how much money 3M will pay to settle these claims. I dont think this is going to work for 3M. If you need representation, call us at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.. Instead of this week, Judge Graham will hold the hearing sometime between April 19-21. Overview of the 3M Earplugs Litigation After the announcement in July 2018 that 3M paid the DOJ $9.2 to settle the qui tam lawsuits alleging that it sold defective earplugs to Army, thousands of veterans who had been living with hearing damage began filing product liability lawsuits against 3M. LaBorde is a doctor of audiology and head of the Hearing Center MCC in Pensacola with expertise in hearing aid technology. 3M also filed a motion objecting to the plaintiffs request to present rebuttal testimony from their expert Dr. Gershwin. March 26, 2022 Update: Wilkerson verdict: $ 8 million. 3M filed a motion seeking to force all these plaintiffs to immediately pay their filing fees or have their case dismissed. { If the plaintiffs can consistently get juries to hit 3M with punitive damages in future bellwether trials it could be a major game-changer. Severe hearing damage lawsuits will be valued higher than tinnitus-only lawsuits. There is simply no route for 3M to resolve this litigation if it continues to take the offensive and impractical position that 90 percent of servicemembers and veterans are liars with worthless claims.. The earplug bellwether trials with one plaintiff have required two weeks each. Our lawyers are handling these cases. On the 3rd day of trial, the plaintiffs presented the testimony of Elliott Berger. Judge Rogers points out that it was only after 3M was unhappy with the outcome of the MDL that it suddenly changed its story and claimed that Aearo was actually the party with liability. It is scheduled for 2 weeks. The median compensatory damage award is $583,448. A 2016 lawsuit filed by a whistleblower alleged that 3M had violated the False Claims Act by selling to the Defense Logistics Agency earplugs with a known design defect that, in the Department of Justice's words, "hampered the effectiveness" of the device. I will put more up on this later but I wanted to get something posted so you all knew what was happening. (Even more bizarrely, the judge trying Beal is the Zantac MDL judge, and this same law firm is defending Zantac lawsuits). Judge Rodgers granted the plaintiffs motions for judgment on several issues including mitigation, comparative fault, and 3Ms statute of limitations defense. This litigation threatens to tarnish their legacy forever. It is not. This latest admonishment came after 3Ms lawyers sought to defy long-standing procedural rules regarding deposition designations. October 6, 2022 Update: 3M canceled the settlement talks set for October 6, 2022. The day finished up with video testimony from former Aearo employee Ronald Kieper. If 3M is allowed to move forward with the bankruptcy, the current earplug lawsuits will be automatically stayed and the current plaintiffs will become creditors. The bankruptcy court will appoint a plaintiffs lawyer committee to negotiate with 3M on a global settlement of all claims. But if I was and I heard this presentation predicated on this delusional nonsense, I would short 3M stock like crazy. But there is more reason for hope than after Judge Rodgers order on Wednesday. 3M Earplug Lawsuit How Much Money Will I Get? The 6th was a different story. It is hard to predict how long one of these mega trials might take. The jury still awarded $2.2 million. After a 2-week trial, the federal jury in Pensacola awarded Army veteran James Beal a total of $77.5 million in damages for his claims that 3Ms defective earplugs caused hearing loss and tinnitus. "How do I qualify for a 3M earplug lawsuit?" But a global 3M earplug settlement after three days of negotiations seems unlikely. By Amanda Holpuch. But the device did not go deeply into the ear. . Recently, however, a group of earplug plaintiffs filed a motion seeking to partially lift that stay with respect to all cases alleging injuries occurring after 3M acquired Aearo in 2008. This was comparable to the compensatory damage awards in prior bellwether cases. Submitting a contact form, sending a text message, making a phone call, or leaving a voicemail does not create an attorney-client relationship. Combat Arms Earplugs left veterans entirely unprotected from damaging high-level sounds. Over the last 30 days, another 2,604 new earplug cases were added to the MDL, bringing the current pending case count to 265,092, At its peak, the MDL was just under 300,000. The design of these earplugs was a comedy of errors. If you are 3M, you dont want to try that case. February 22, 2023 Update: The judge in the 3M earplug MDL has scheduled a Data Day tomorrow, at which time Brown Greer, the third-party claims administrator for the MDL, will make a presentation outlining information about the thousands of hearing loss claims pending against 3M in the litigation. But these settlement amounts and timing predictions are just pure speculation. The judge also provided 3M with a harsh truth: Though [300,000 lawsuits] may be a tough pill to swallow, the numbers are what they are.. The defense data demonstrates that approximately 85% of plaintiffs suffer from hearing loss or tinnitus, lead plaintiffs attorneys Bryan Aylstock and Chris Seeger said in a news statement. It is hard to know how to interpret all of this. The MDL judge yesterday ordered over 20,000 lawsuits parked on the administrative docket transferred to the active docket within 60 days. January 8, 2023 Update: In a brief supporting 3Ms bankruptcy appeal, the Chamber of Commerce argues that allowing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy for Aearo to extend to 3M would provide the best mechanism for determining the legitimacy of claims through claims estimation processes., The only flaw in this method of settlement payout evaluation, the brief later contends, is that disposing of these cases through bankruptcy will make it easier for injured veterans to recover money for low-value claims presumably tinnitus which 3m has never taken seriously that are difficult to prove in court.. 3 of the 9 plaintiffs lost and were awarded $0 damages. Aearo claims that under AMA criteria, almost 90% of plaintiffs have no hearing impairment; under WHO standards, more than 85% of plaintiffs have normal hearing. March 2, 2023 Update: We wrote a separate post on the 3M estimation motion that announced most plaintiffs suffered no injury. 3M claimed defense victories in Rounds 2, 5, and 6. Casali is 3Ms go-to expert, a foremost authority in audiology, acoustics, and hearing protection. So that is an issue that plaintiffs lawyers have to deal with in these cases. This is a huge deal because it means that the pending appeal in the Aearo bankruptcy is basically meaningless. The company admitted, however, that the earplugs were defective and did nothing to protect soldiers from significant hearing loss, subjecting them to the risk of deafness. If we track wins and losses by individual plaintiffs, we get a more accurate picture of where things stand. Our law firm handles 3M earplug lawsuits throughout the country. 3M hid design flaws and doctored test results, while also failing to provide proper instructions on how . Corporations taking responsibility is a profitable path. Like Bayer in the Roundup lawsuits, 3Ms biggest mistake that led to this debacle was buying a company without doing enough due diligence as to the potential litigation liabilities. 3M Earplug Lawsuit Update! But none that matter. If the best cases do not receive settlement offers commensurate with the harm done to them, those plaintiffs will just reject the settlement amounts offered and opt to go to trial. The Court has already agreed to expedite the appeal. how much a 3M earplug lawsuit might be worth. The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. None of which have been granted. But it seems unwise to go out of your way to create enmity with the judge and the judge trying the Beal case. It is. That would allow 3M to appeal the decision separately and immediately, while the MDL remains on pause. Lead counsel for the plaintiffs filed a major motion seeking to exclude or limit 3Ms expert testimony and opinions going into Wave 3 of the earplug cases, which could involve thousands of plaintiffs going to trial in large blocks starting next year. Many veterans will understandably reject this settlement. 3M has been wearing rose-colored glasses from Day 1 of this litigation. Contributory negligence will not be at issue in this trial as Judge Rodgers granted summary judgment on that issue to the plaintiff earlier this month. How Much Longer Will 3M Earplug Lawsuit Take? Call 954-384-6114. The executives at 3M that decided to buy Aearo Technologies need to accept this mistake and move on. The earplugs were never recalled, but 3M stopped making them in 2015. The approach applied by the plaintiffs results in a much smaller percentage of plaintiffs being excluded. From there, he assumes the bankruptcy ruling will get overturned. But 3Ms lawyers are frustrated. October 7, 2022 Update: 3M stock lost billions of dollars in value yesterday. Wayman is an Army veteran who is claiming that 3Ms defective earplugs caused him to develop tinnitus which has made his PTSD condition worse. 3M now has to offer reasonable settlement amounts to veterans or face scores of jury trials in 2023 that could put the company on the path to real bankruptcy. 3Ms defense team also filed a Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law, arguing that punitive damages should not be permitted because the plaintiff failed to meet certain evidentiary burdens under Texas law. So hiring another lawyer is unlikely to speed up the path to a 3M earplug settlement. This sounds like a bad thing, right? Settlement talks without imminent trial dates will be spinning wheels with 3M. Dr. Packers direct examination lasted almost 5 hours, followed by a 2-hour cross-exam. In her Order, Judge Rodgers explained that a settlement would help relieve the federal court system of the massive burden that the earplugs cases will present moving forward. This ruling theoretically renders the Aearo bankruptcy appeal to the 3rd Circuit moot, as the MDL plaintiffs are now free to go after 3M separately. I also understand that Miller & Zois works with multiple law firms on these claims and that I may be contacted by an affiliated law firm working with Miller & Zois on these lawsuits. Dr. Packer was a key witness in the Sloan/Wayman bellwether trial that resulted in a $110 million verdict against 3M. In 3M military earplugs case, attention now moves to mediation in bankruptcy court, Veterans lawsuits against 3M can continue despite bankruptcy filing, 3M faces $100 billion in losses from veterans' earplug suits, expert says, 3M to create $1 billion trust to resolve lawsuits with veterans as part of a bankruptcy filing, More than 20,000 veterans removed from military earplugs lawsuit over missing documents, Gallantry: Biden presents Medal of Honor to retired Army Col. Paris Davis for his heroics in Vietnam, US to send bridge-launching vehicles for tank deployments to Ukraine in new $400M aid package, Japan complains to US over Utah senators remarks on imprisoned Navy officer, Military, VA provide troops, vets more gun safety options to help reduce suicides, Pentagon tells service members to stop displaying giant US flags at major events, K-Town Now features the latest news from the Kaiserslautern Military Community. The plaintiffs are still in their case so dont expect a verdict soon. This is the first step in the hopes of a favorable global military hearing protection settlement with 3M that would give most victims a reasonable amount of money without ever having to go to court. This victory for 3M follows its biggest loss in the earplug bellwether trials. Actually, 3M lost $50 billion in market value. September 1, 2022: 3M noted its appeal of the bankruptcy ruling on Monday. "name": "I Never Hear from My Lawyer. He spoke to the jury about the hearing injuries suffered. August 27, 2022: We have a ruling. Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets She points out that [f]rom the start, Aearo was a party to this litigation in name only. The judge refers to 3Ms recent strategy to have Aearo assume full liability for the earplug claims and then file bankruptcy as a scheme designed to avoid the MDL. The Vilsmeyer verdict is yet another incredible victory that should push settlement amounts higher as 3M has to be in a full-scale panic at this point. This trial date was putting pressure on 3M to make a reasonable settlement offer and the delay will take away some of that exigency. Both Fallon and Crawford also spent over 20 years in the Army. Now retired, he was the former head of the 3M Personal Safety Division and an audiology scientist. This prevents any proceedings from moving forward against Aearo in the earplug lawsuits, but not against 3M. September 19, 2022 Update: There was no settlement from the settlement talks last week. If you have a potential 3m earplug lawsuit, you may be pushing up against the deadline to sue. The trial resulted in another defense verdict for 3M as the jury found that the plaintiff, Carlos Montero, failed to prove that his hearing loss was the result of defects in the 3M earplugs. Meanwhile, however, Judge Rodgers order means that thousands of earplug plaintiffs can avoid having to produce documents to support their claims and pay filing fees. Judge Rodgers denied that motion. Plaintiff James Beal, an Army veteran, began his 3M earplug trial against 3M yesterday in Pensacola, Florida, the epicenter of this litigation so far. October 5, 2022 Update: No 3M earplug settlement remains. October 2, 2022 Update: The next round of settlement talks will be tomorrow. February 23, 2023 Update: Judge Rodgers held the 3M earplug data day as planned this morning, which featured comments from the bench and a 90-minute presentation from the third-party claims administrator. Our lawyers are handling 3M earplug lawsuits in all 50 states. If you miss the statute of limitations, you will not be able to get a settlement for the harm that has been done to you. July 26, 2022 Update: 3M is trying to play the bankruptcy card, placing Aearo into bankruptcy. 3Ms appeal will either go to the U.S. District Court for Indiana or the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. September 1, 2022 Update: Here we go again. Anyone who served in the military from 2003 to 2015 and suffered permanent hearing damage has a potential product liability lawsuit against the earplug manufacturer. Of course. January 2022: Biggest Plaintiffs' Award Yet. The judge in the earplugs MDL, Casey Rodgers, harshly rebuked 3M and its lawyers at a hearing on Wednesday. Last week, however, a top JP Morgan cautioned that 3Ms litigation liabilities could exceed the $33 billion the investment bank says is already baked into the price of 3M stock. Blog Home. "Litigation against 3M is still ongoing and a final amount has not been determined yet." In cases where an MDL judge believes the claims have merit, the judge always wants a successful resolution to the litigation and that means a settlement. Before we get to the meat of the 3M Combat Arms earplug lawsuits, our attorneys update you with the latest news in the 3M earplug litigation. (It might just be hedge funds accessing the risk and shorting 3M stock on the litigation risk. If nothing else, it is good momentum going into the 3M earplug settlement talks set to being on July 15, 2022. The trial value could be in this range or even higher (much higher for the first three victims, as it turns out). The trial is set for two weeks. February 14, 2022 Update: My belief has always been that 3M needs real pressure to come to the settlement table ready to offer reasonable compensation payouts. Summary judgment on this motion might render that appeal moot. October 24, 2022 Update: 3M wants to pretend that Aearo is a separate company from 3M. If 3M were to prevail on an issue that is common to every 3M earplug lawsuit the government contractor defense these cases would all amount to nothing if that ruling stood (unless Congress stepped in). If you are following this litigation, Berger needs no introduction. July 18, 2022: There was no 3M earplug settlement from the mediation this weekend. One piece of bad news: the October 24th trial that was creating settlement pressure has been pushed back to February. 3M has already set aside $1.2 billion to fund the proposed bankruptcy trust for the settlement of the earplug claims. 3M chooses its own definitions and its own legal standards. Berger has testified in all of the bellwether trials. March 3, 2023 Update: Quote from plaintiffs lawyers in Bloomberg article on the 3Ms estimation motion: There is simply no route for 3M to resolve this litigation if it continues to take the offensive and impractical position that 90 percent of service members and veterans are liars with worthless claims.. 3M is a historically significant company, a piece of America. In that case, like this case, J&J was using Chapter 11 to end run facing judgment from juries. In Luke Vilsmeyers trial, the jury awarded $50 million yesterday. There have now been 7 rounds of bellwether trials involving 9 plaintiffs in the 3M earplugs litigation. June 27, 2022 Update: The Sunday edition of the Wall Street Journal featured an article entitled 3M Faces Billions in Liabilities Over $7.63 Earplugs. Ultimately, the earplug plaintiffs will get a global settlement one way or the other. Can I Fire My Lawyer and Hire You? Most of the opening 2 days of the trial were devoted to the testimony of bioacoustics engineer Richard McKinley. Specifically, the doctrine provides a guideline for when our servicemen and women may file a claim for personal injuries.