Month: April 2021

3M hit with $6MM punitive damages by U.S. jury in first combat earplug trial

3M Co was found liable on Friday for hearing damage suffered by three U.S. military veterans who accused the company of covering up design defects in its earplugs, a blow to 3M which faces more than 200,000 similar claims.

The jury awarded each of the plaintiffs $2.1 million in punitive damages and a total of $830,500 in compensatory damages for their medical expenses, lost earnings and pain and suffering.

The company was accused of hiding design flaws, fudging test results and failing to instruct the military in proper use of the earplugs, which were used by the Army between 2007 and 2013.

“The evidence is clear: 3M knew their earplugs were defective, yet they allowed our servicemembers to suffer these life-altering injuries,” said a statement from attorneys Bryan Aylstock and Christopher Seeger.

3M said in a statement it did not believe the plaintiffs met their burden in proving the plugs were defectively or negligently designed or that the plugs caused injuries. The company said it believed there were multiple grounds for appeal.

“We remain confident in our case and are ready to defend ourselves against plaintiffs’ allegations at the upcoming trials,” 3M said.

Southwest Airlines flight attendant sues after husband dies of COVID-19

A Southwest Airlines flight attendant has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her employer, accusing the company of lax COVID-19 protocols and contact tracing that eventually led to the death of her husband.

Carol Madden, 69, filed the suit in the U.S. District Court in Maryland seeking more than $3 million in damages, USA Today reported.

Madden attended a one-day training session at Baltimore-Washington International Airport on July 13. Her husband, Bill, drove her home from the event.

The couple got sick days later and later tested positive for COVID-19, according to the lawsuit. His condition quickly deteriorated and he died a few weeks later. COVID pneumonia was listed as the first cause of death.

Bill Madden, a veteran and retired railroad signal engineer, was 73 years old.

“He was a phenomenal man. He had a heart of gold,” Madden said of her husband of 35 years. “There is nothing and no one that can replace him.”

Madden told USA Today that she “firmly believes my husband would still be here” if Southwest had applied the same safety protocols for employees as it does for passengers.

“They were cleaning the seats. They were cleaning the air vents. They were cleaning the seat belts. Every touchpoint was cleaned,”‘ she told the outlet. “They did not do that in my training last year.”

The training is mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration and Madden said she was initially signed up for it in April 2020 but it was pushed back to mid-July when the pandemic started.

According to the complaint, Southwest flight attendants and instructors were not screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to or during the daylong training. They allegedly were not asked about potential exposure.

5 things to know about USA TODAY’s investigation of discrimination within EEOC

What do you do if you experience workplace discrimination? You report it to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the government agency charged with routing out workplace discrimination, right?

So what if you experience workplace discrimination WHILE you’re working at the EEOC?

USA TODAY published an investigation this week about discrimination allegations from employees of the agency charged with routing out workplace discrimination: the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

Here are five key points:

Facts You Should Know About Medical Malpractice

In the United States, medical malpractice lawsuits first happened in the 1800s. History shows that legal claims for medical malpractice were rare before the 1960s, and it had little impact on the practice of medicine then.

However, since the 1960s, the frequency of medical malpractice claims has increased; and today, lawsuits filed by aggrieved patients alleging malpractice by a physician are common in the U.S

Are you a victim of medical errors, or do you need information? In this article, we will look at some facts you should know about this costly negligence.

Still have questions?

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