Frequently asked questions
The earplugs were too short and they had a flange that prevented a solid seal. This caused them to get loosened enough not to work properly but not enough that the user would be aware of the issue.
Yes. 3M conducted testing on the earplugs. They stopped the first test halfway through. They changed the test so the way that the earplugs were tested were not the way that they were worn.
Almost. For a couple of years the original manufacturer included a “wearing tip” that mentioned moving the problematic flange out of the way. This was not in the warning section or prominent. When 3M bought out the company and took their place, they removed the mention of this “wearing tip”.
Yes. We have already personally filed lawsuits against 3M and personally handle the cases of the clients we represent. We are not a marketing company that collects these cases and refers them to law firms in bulk for a profit. We are actual lawyers and we prepare each case fully and completely.
We anticipate representing about 100 Plaintiffs. This is much less than many law firms that are handling these types of cases. As the cases proceed through the litigation process, it will become apparent how many cases we believe it is responsible to handle. We refuse to put ourselves in a position where we would not have the time or resources to take cases to trial in the event that the Defendants refuse to make a substantial settlement offer.
Yes. There are various “statutes of limitation” that will determine how long a service member has to bring a case. Depending upon the particular state law that applies, there can anything from a 1 year to a 5 year or longer statute of limitation. It is not always obvious which state’s laws should apply in this regard. There are also various ways to extend a statute of limitation, but they might not apply in particular cases. These issues are highly fact specific.
Regardless of where the cases are filed, we believe that it is likely that all the 3M defective earplug litigation will be consolidated into Multi-District Litigation. If this happens, the preliminary matters will be heard in one judicial district and trials (if necessary) will be held in the state of original filing (or a state determined to be the proper forum at a later date)
Multi-district litigation is similar to a class action, but with very important differences. In a class action, a few plaintiffs represent every class member. In multi-district litigation, each plaintiff is responsible for bringing forward their own case. Common issues that involve all plaintiffs may be handled together for efficiency but each case is an individual case and each case has individual issues that must be addressed individually
Even though we have experience handling cases in multi-district litigation and have done so successfully throughout the United States, currently, the only MDL we are working on is the 3M Defective Military Earplug Litigation. We believe it is important to fully prepare every case and we could not do that sufficiently if we were handling tens of thousands of clients in every MDL currently underway.