Defective Products


Latest Developments in Defective Product Mass Tort & MDL Litigation…

A $2.2 million verdict against 3M is the latest outcome in an ongoing legal battle over allegedly defective earplugs the company long made for the U.S. military. 3M has now lost nine and won six bellwether trials aimed at setting the groundwork for a settlement in one of the largest U.S. mass tort cases ever. With only one more bellwether trial forthcoming, a settlement still appears elusive. A jury in the case before the U.S. District Court for northern Florida on Friday ruled in favor of Jonathon Vaughn, who served in the U.S. Army from 2006 to 2010. Vaughn, of Southside, Ala., claimed that 3M's Combat Arms CAEv2 earplugs caused his hearing loss and tinnitus. Damages awarded to plaintiffs — all with similar claims — amount to about $220 million. "It is clear 3M's defenses — whether in the courts, to investors or the public — are unconvincing and without… Read more
As the number of children diagnosed with autism hits staggering highs, a groundbreaking lawsuit seeks to hold some of America's most trusted baby food companies at least partially responsible. The first of its kind lawsuit is on the cusp of a monumental step forward. This month, a judge heard early arguments about the presence of toxic heavy metals in baby food, and how they may harm a child's developing brain. It's an issue Spotlight on America has been investigating for years. If the judge rules that the science is valid, major brands like Gerber and Beech-Nut could soon be in the hot seat in a court of law and millions of families could have potential recourse. Spotlight on America was first to speak with the California mom who is taking on an army of industry giants on behalf of her son, claiming his autism diagnosis can be traced back to heavy metals in… Read more
The active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup has been linked to an increased risk of lymphoma and leukemia, specifically non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Monsanto, weed killer’s maker, has faced a number of Roundup lawsuits from farmworkers and home gardeners alleging that they were diagnosed with cancer after using Roundup. According to the Roundup cancer lawsuits, the product has been linked to the following cancer side effects: Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma B-cell lymphoma T-cell lymphoma Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) Hairy cell lymphoma Does Roundup Weed Killer Cause Cancer? The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released a report in March 2015, which concluded that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is linked to cancer. The IARC report also linked four other pesticides that were shown to cause cancer. The report came after studies were published in … Read more
Philips Respironics manufactures “continuous positive airway pressure” (CPAP), bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP), and ventilators for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Those with this condition experience disruption of normal breathing during sleep, as manifested by snoring. These machines use polyester-based polyurethane foam to diminish the noise and vibrations generated while the user sleeps. When the foam degrades, it releases toxic gases and matter, which the users may inhale and ingest. As explained more below, the toxins may sicken users and expose them to serious conditions such as organ failure and cancer. Philips issued a recall on June 14, 2021, for the first-generation devices. In the wake of this recall, numerous users have sued Philips for personal injuries and other damages. Below, we explain whether you can sue Philips if you claim one of its devices has resulted in illness or serious disease. Did You Use One of the Recalled… Read more
A federal jury Thursday awarded $110 million to two U.S. Army veterans who said they had hearing damage because of combat earplugs produced by multinational manufacturer 3M. It is the latest decision in a network of hundreds of thousands of lawsuits that accuse 3M of knowingly selling defective earplugs to the military. 3M has maintained that the since-discontinued product, which was marketed as Combat Arms earplugs, Version 2, was effective and safe to use. The decision Thursday represented the largest sum awarded to date in the earplug litigation against 3M. The two veterans, Ronald Sloan and William Wayman, were each awarded $15 million in compensatory damages and $40 million in punitive damages by a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida…. Read more
Since 2017, paraquat lawsuits have proceeded through state and federal courts. The claimants in these actions allege that the manufacturers of paraquat did not warn of the risk of Parkinson’s disease from exposure to the herbicide. In the summer of 2021, plaintiffs in California state court paraquat actions settled their claims. The amounts have not been publicly disclosed. Numerous federal lawsuits are pending in the Southern District of Illinois as multidistrict litigation. Currently, plaintiffs’ lawyers and the defendants have until March 2022 to complete pretrial discovery. Estimates of average settlements or even anticipated settlements would seem premature at this point. If you suffer from Parkinson’s disease at the hands of paraquat, you may qualify to participate in multidistrict litigation or otherwise sue for your injuries. … Read more
After a pandemic-induced quiet year in 2020, last year saw a lot of action on the mass tort front. In 2021, we saw $11 billion in Roundup settlements and over a dozen bellwether test trials in various MDL class action lawsuits. It appears 2022 will be a very eventful year for mass torts. We could see global settlements in two or maybe three major mass tort MDLs, including the biggest of them all, the 3M Earplugs MDL. Let’s talk about what we can expect in 2022 in the mass tort class action lawsuits with the highest predicted settlement payouts…. Read more
A jury in Pensacola, Florida has awarded U.S. Army Veteran Theodore Finley $22.5 million in a lawsuit seeking damages for hearing loss and tinnitus caused by combat earplugs sold by 3M Co. This latest verdict surpasses seven previous verdicts, including a $13 million verdict awarded by jurors to a U.S. Army sergeant last month. "It is always upsetting to see large, multi-billion corporations putting their profits above the safety and health of their consumers," said Texas Attorney Thomas J. Henry. "In this case, however, we saw 3M Co. take advantage of our U.S. servicemen and women. That is simply unacceptable, and the jury's verdict shows that the people our military members serve will not stand for it."… Read more
Roundup is an effective, broad-spectrum herbicide used more than any other herbicide in the world. It was introduced by Monsanto in 1974; in 2018, Monsanto was purchased by Bayer. The first Roundup lawsuit was filed that same year, and Bayer has been facing mounting foes in courtrooms across the country ever since. The fifth Roundup case to go to trial, which lasted four months, was closed recently in California’s San Bernardino County. The lawsuit was filed by Donnetta Stephens, who developed cancer after using Roundup and alleged that its active ingredient, glyphosate, was at fault. The jury ruled in favor of Bayer. They also rejected the notion that Bayer knew the product was dangerous and was negligent in formulating the herbicide. The plaintiff claims her … Read more
A $22.5 million jury verdict against 3M is the largest penalty yet in a series of trials over allegedly defective earplugs manufactured by the Maplewood-based company. A federal jury in Tallahassee, Fla., late last week ruled in favor of Theodore Finley, who served in the U.S. Army from 2006 to 2014. Finley alleged that he developed bilateral tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss while wearing 3M-made earplugs as he worked around weapon fire, generators, mechanized vehicles, helicopters and during training and combat. It was the eighth ruling in a series of bellwether trials against the company, and the fifth where the plaintiff prevailed. Three juries rejected all claims against 3M. The trials are part of what may be the largest U.S. mass tort ever, with more than 250,000 veterans … Read more
As of December 2021, Monsanto has reached settlement agreements in nearly 100,000 Roundup lawsuits. Monsanto paid approximately $11 billion. Bayer has accomplished this by negotiating block settlement arrangements with plaintiffs’ lawyers who have large numbers of cases in the litigation. 30,000 Roundup Cases Left… and Counting Although these settlements account for nearly 80% of all pending Roundup claims, there are still about 26,000 active Roundup lawsuits. Moreover, new Roundup lawsuits continue to get filed on a regular basis. Our Roundup attorneys call from Roundup victims with NHL almost every day. December 2021 Roundup Lawsuit Update On December 9, 2021, a Roundup trial resulted in another defense victory for Bayer after a jury in California ruled that the plaintiff’s cancer was not caused by her years … Read more
In the most recent round of the long-running litigation over hearing protection supplied by manufacturing giant 3M and used by U.S. Military personnel from 2002 until 2015, Plaintiffs have obtained large verdicts in 3 out of 4 bellwether cases against 3M. In July 2018, 3M reached a $9.1-million settlement with the Department of Justice in a False Claims Act lawsuit. Subsequently, hundreds of thousands of individual claims followed in courts across the United State, with Plaintiffs alleging that 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs (Version 2) were defective. In April 2019, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that all earplug lawsuits against 3M pending in federal district courts would be transferred to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida (the … Read more
E-cigarette giant Juul Labs will pay Arizona $14.5 million and vowed not to market to young people in the state to settle a consumer fraud lawsuit. The settlement announced by Attorney General Mark Brnovich Tuesday is the second Juul has reached with state prosecutors. It ends litigation the Republican U.S. Senate candidate filed in January 2020 against Juul and another maker of electronic cigarettes, alleging they illegally targeted young people in their marketing. Arizona previously obtained a $22.5 million judgment against defunct vaping product maker Eonsmoke but has not and is not likely to collect any of the money. Juul Labs admitted no wrongdoing in settling the case and called it “another step in our ongoing effort to reset our company.” The company had stopped all advertising before Brnovich sued and ended sales of all flavored products except menthol. Juul has faced lawsuits from multiple states over marketing of its… Read more
California's highest court rejected on Wednesday a challenge by Monsanto Co.'s to $86.2 million in damages to a couple who developed cancer after spraying the company's Roundup weed-killer in their yards for three decades. The state Supreme Court's denial of review upholds an appeals court's ruling in favor of Alva and Alberta Pilliod. The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco found in a 2-1 ruling in August that Monsanto was at fault for knowingly marketing a product whose active ingredient, glyphosate, could be dangerous. Monsanto’s parent company, Bayer, said it disagreed with the high court's decision. "We continue to stand strongly behind the safety of Roundup, a position supported by assessments of expert regulators worldwide as well as the overwhelming weight of four … Read more
A federal jury in Florida sided with earplug manufacturer 3M that the company's product did not cause hearing loss for a veteran who used them while serving in the military. The trial was the second of three scheduled this year that could impact the outcome of a lawsuit involving nearly 236,000 veterans who were issued the earplugs while in the service. 3M, a Minnesota-based company, lost the first trial April in which a jury awarded $7.1 million to three Army veterans who said they suffered from hearing loss and tinnitus because of the earplugs. The second trial involved one veteran, Dustin McCombs, with a similar lawsuit. The jury on Friday determined 3M was not liable, negligent or fraudulent when selling earplugs to the military, according to court documents…. Read more
More than 230,000 military members and veterans could receive millions in damages against 3M Co. after a Pensacola jury found the multinational corporation liable for hearing loss from defective earplugs the company sold the military for 12 years. A jury on Friday awarded more than $7.1 million in damages to three former service members from Kentucky and Georgia in the first "bellwether trial" of a massive and complex lawsuit against the company. If the verdict stands — and if similar verdicts are reached in more bellwether trials — 3M could pay out millions to service members who used the Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2). 3M and its subsidiary Aearo Technologies sold the earplugs to the Department of Defense from 2003 to 2015, and they … Read more
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 … Read more
The Settlement Deal With Bayer’s Roundup Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Cases Continues –Here Is A Brief History. Bayer has been working out Monsanto’s Roundup settlement since acquiring the glyphosate manufacturer in 2018. The corporation expects to resolve future claims that its weedkiller causes cancer by mid-May. Here is a brief history of Bayer’s $11 billion outline settlement…. Read more
More than 90 law firms and more than 160 lawyers have notified a federal court judge overseeing U.S. Roundup litigation that they oppose Monsanto owner Bayer AG’s $2 billion plan to settle future claims the company expects to be brought by people diagnosed with cancer they blame on use of Monsanto’s herbicide products. In recent days, nine separate objections to the plan and four amicus briefs have been filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, letting Judge Vince Chhabria know the extent of opposition to the proposed class settlement. Chhabria has been overseeing thousands of Roundup cancer lawsuits in what is called ‘multidistrict litigation’ (MDL). On Monday, the National Trial Lawyers (NTL) joined in the opposition on behalf of its… Read more
A Veterans Affairs audiologist must testify about a former military service member’s hearing exam for an upcoming test case in litigation over allegedly defective 3M Co. earplugs, a federal court in Florida ruled. Magistrate Judge Gary R. Jones’s Oct. 9 ruling for 3M is his second against an agency in recent months as the government seeks to avoid entanglement in the vast litigation consolidating suits by members of the military and others. The plaintiffs allege 3M’s Aearo Combat Arms Version 2 earplugs left them with hearing loss and… Read more
3M Combat Arms Earplug products liability multidistrict litigation (MDL) now has the most actions of any MDL ever. And, as plaintiffs claim these earplugs were standard military issue for more than a decade, this may only be the tip of the iceberg. According to reports from the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Legislation, including the most recent Oct. 15 MDL Statistics Report, the IN RE: 3M Combat Arms Earplug Liability Litigation MDL has amassed 203,722 total actions since its 2018 inception, surpassing IN RE: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation, which has been pending since 1991. The 3M earplug litigation has its origins in a 2016 dispute under the False Claims Act between 3M and plaintiffs Moldex-Metric Inc. and the United States. In that case, 3M’s subsidiary, Aearo Technologies, allegedly supplied defective earplugs to the U.S. military, falsely certifying in response to the … Read more
Bayer AG has reached verbal agreements to resolve a substantial portion of an estimated 125,000 U.S. cancer lawsuits over use of its Roundup weedkiller, according to people familiar with the negotiations. The deals, which have yet to be signed and cover an estimated 50,000 to 85,000 suits, are part of a $10 billion Bayer plan to end a costly legal battle the company inherited when it acquired Monsanto in 2018, the people said. While some lawyers are still holding out, payouts for settled cases will range from a few million dollars to a few thousand each, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly. A surge in Roundup claims, along with some big court losses, have weighed on Bayer since the … Read more
Lawsuits filed by nearly 40 U.S. veterans who sued 3M Co. for defective earplugs and hearing loss have been moved to federal court. The cases were moved from Hennepin County District Court to the federal court in Minnesota at the request of 3M, court records show. 3M has denied wrongdoing in the cases. The complaints are the latest of at least 635 veteran lawsuits making similar allegations against 3M and Aearo Technologies, which 3M bought in 2008. The lawsuits — the first of which a military veteran filed in December 2018 — represent more than 1,700 individuals, according to documents 3M filed with U.S. regulators in April. More lawsuits are expected, plaintiff attorneys said…. Read more
The number of lawsuits involving Roundup weed killer, 3M military earplugs and hernia mesh products has grown significantly in 2019. The lawsuits are part of multidistrict litigations, or MDLs, which combine large numbers of similar federal cases. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is a special body within the United States federal court system tasked with establishing MDLs. The panel compiles current MDL statistics into monthly reports. According to the November 2019 report, the MDLs involving 3M earplugs and Roundup were among the country’s largest that month. Hernia mesh MDLs also remained near the top of the list…. Read more
Lawsuits are being filed across the country aimed at a product issued to thousands of members of the military. Earplugs are a basic item issued to service members who are sometimes in very loud environments. But the ones bought by the Defense Department from the 3M company didn’t work, according to the government, who says that has led to serious issues involving hearing loss. The earplugs in question are 3M’s combat arms earplugs. They were issued to service members from 2003 to 2015. Retired Army soldier Kevin McAnally says he spent two decades working on the CH47 Chinook helicopter. “With engines running on a flight line where you might have say a half a dozen to a dozen aircraft turning up and you’re out walking … Read more
Have you lost your hearing or developed tinnitus—a ringing in your ears—after serving in the military? If you served between 2003 and 2015, were issued two-sided black and yellow earplugs, and have developed hearing loss or tinnitus, you may be eligible for financial compensation in a large lawsuit. Here are the details: Military service members were issued 3M's Combat Arms Earplugs from 2003 to 2015. One side of the earplugs would allow low-intensity sounds through, such as speaking, and the other side would muffle sound more. They were the only dual-sided earplugs issued by the military. Unfortunately, they didn't work. "The earplugs didn't maintain a tight seal and allowed dangerously loud sounds to slip through without the wearer knowing," according to the Military Times. Signs of injury … Read more
Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm, announced that they have served the defendants with lawsuits on behalf of more than 500 combat veterans who utilized the standard issue 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ earplugs during deployment and/or while stationed state-side venued in Minnesota District Court for the Second Judicial District, County of Ramsey, against 3M Company and Aearo Technologies LLC. According to the complaints, former and current service members have been diagnosed with tinnitus and/or permanent hearing loss as a result of the earplugs' failure to protect their hearing from noise exposure during training and combat.  The suits seek damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, mental anguish, loss of wages and earning capacity and more. The lawsuits contend, among other allegations, that 3M Company and Aearo Technologies failed to properly and/or adequately … Read more
A California judge on Thursday reduced a $2 billion jury verdict, slashing the award for a couple who blamed Bayer AG’s glyphosate-based weed killer, Roundup, for their cancer to $86.7 million. Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith of the California Superior Court in Oakland said the jury’s billion-dollar punitive damage awards were excessive and unconstitutional, but rejected Bayer’s request to strike the punitive award outright. Under Smith’s final order, California couple Alva and Alberta Pilliod would receive roughly $17 million in compensatory damages and $69 million in punitive damages, down from $55 million and $2 billion, respectively. The plaintiffs still have to formally accept the reduced awards. Brent Wisner, a lawyer for the Pilliods, in a statement on Friday welcomed the decision. “While we believe the … Read more
3M earplug lawsuits claim that defective design of the Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEV2) caused them to loosen, leading to hearing damage or loss for thousands of veterans and active-duty military. More than 233,000 lawsuits have been filed nationwide. Only the whistleblower lawsuit has settled at this time. Why Are People Filing? 3M military earplugs lawsuits focus on a couple of claims: 3M's failure to disclose material design defects for over a decade prevented the U.S. military from seeking other, effective hearing protection options. Military personnel suffered hearing damage and loss due to the failure of 3M's CAEV2. These claims are very serious, especially in terms of their potential to inflict damages. Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 Design and Failure Aearo Technologies, Inc. … Read more
In July 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice announced 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million to settle a Whistleblower False Claims Act suit accusing 3M of knowingly selling defective earplugs to the U.S. military. The settlement, filed in South Carolina federal court, was based upon allegations that 3M and its predecessor Aearo Technologies Inc. sold its Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) to the Defense Logistics Agency knowing they were too short to be properly inserted into a user’s ears. The defective earplugs are dual-ended and can be used either as traditional earplugs or can be flipped into an “open” position to attenuate explosion sounds while still letting through quieter noises. The plugs gradually loosen and failed to properly reduce loud noises. The U.S. Department of Justice … Read more
A Florida judge has appointed 53 lawyers to lead hundreds of lawsuits brought by U.S. military members against 3M over allegedly defective earplugs, with Pensacola attorney Bryan Aylstock getting the top post. Aylstock, at Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, will oversee two other co-lead counsel, Shelley Hutson, of Houston’s Clark, Love & Hutson, and Chris Seeger, of Seeger Weiss in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, according to an order on Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers, of the Northern District of Florida, also appointed two attorneys as co-liaison counsel, seven lawyers on an executive committee and 14 on a plaintiffs’ steering committee. She also appointed lawyers to nine subcommittees…. Read more
A California jury on Monday awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who claimed Bayer AG’s glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused their cancer, in the largest U.S. jury verdict to date against the company in litigation over the chemical. The large punitive damages award is likely to be reduced due to U.S. Supreme Court rulings that limit the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages to 9:1. The jury awarded a total of $2 billion in punitive damages and $55 million in compensatory damages. It was the third consecutive U.S. jury verdict against the company in litigation over the chemical, which Bayer acquired as part of its $63 billion purchase of Monsanto last year. Both other jury verdicts also came in California, one in state … Read more
A federal judicial panel has sent more than 640 lawsuits to Florida that allege defective earplugs caused hearing problems in U.S. military service members. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation coordinated the lawsuits, brought against 3M, in an order on Wednesday, selecting U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers of the Northern District of Florida…. Read more
A recent legal settlement has brought fresh attention to two of the biggest health problems veterans face. The settlement concerned protective military earplugs that allegedly were defective. The Pentagon settled with the earplugs' maker 3M Company. And the two problems? Retired Army Brig. Gen. William Gothard of Fayetteville, N.C. has both of them. He said his 36 years of service have left him with hearing loss and a maddening condition called tinnitus. "It sounds like a chorus of cicadas sitting on your shoulders constantly, and the less ambient noise around, the worse that tinnitus is," he said. Medical experts say this constant distraction can be so bad that it undermines relationships and job performance by making it hard to concentrate on tasks or conversations. Gothard … Read more
Members of the armed forces for the United States military set a standard for performance unlike any the world has ever known. For those who serve in theaters of war, it often costs them the maximum. All give some; few come home the same. Our country has taken great strides to improve how we care for and provide to those who return from war with very visible injuries. The resources that are made available to our veterans who are maimed, dismembered and disfigured are immeasurably greater than what was available to servicemen and women of past generations. Prosthetics post 1993 Somalia come to mind as a great accomplishment. However, we continue as a society to fail those who come home with non-visible wounds. Worse, we … Read more
According to a recently settled whistleblower lawsuit, 3M Company and its predecessor Aearo Technologies, Inc. —which supplied the U.S. military with Combat Arms Earplugs version 2 (CAEv2) between 2003 and 2015—made false statements about the effectiveness of those earplugs, unnecessarily putting millions of veterans in danger of developing hearing loss and tinnitus. Moldex-Metric, a competitor company that also manufacturers earplugs, filed the lawsuit under the False Claims Act. The U.S. Department of Justice later joined in the suit, and the plaintiffs secured a $9.1 million settlement agreement. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs’ alleged that 3M and Aearo (3M acquired Aearo in 2008) were aware of problems with the CAEv2 for years, yet continued to supply them to the military without disclosing the CAEv2’s defects. Manufacturer … Read more
Retired Army General Jay Gothard said a legal settlement, between the maker of an earplug used by the military and the United States Department of Justice, made him feel violated. In the lawsuit, the U.S. government claimed that Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs, made by Aearo Technologies but later acquired by 3M and sold to the Army, were "dangerously defective" and contributed to significant hearing loss in service members. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, more than half (52 percent) of combat soldiers return home with moderate or severe hearing loss. It costs taxpayers an estimated $1 billion to treat the problem. Gothard showed WRAL News two identical sets of earplugs he was issued to dull the din of explosives and guns. "We spend … Read more
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were over 800,000 veterans living in the state of Pennsylvania between 2013 and 2017. The Center for Philanthropy states that Pennsylvania has the nation’s fourth largest veteran’s population and that the number of vets jumped by 46 percent between 2009 and 2013. Many of those veterans may be suffering from hearing loss and tinnitus because of potentially defective earplugs used in both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars between 2003 and 2015. The manufacturer, 3M Company, recently agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly supplied defective earplugs to the United States government. 3M Earplugs Supposed to Help Protect Soldiers’ Hearing The 3M dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) were standard issue in the military … Read more
In a settlement worth a paltry $9.1 million, 3M agreed to pay the government after being caught covering up its defective earplugs called dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2). The company sold its earplugs to the US military without disclosing problems with its effectiveness. Basically, the earplugs would come loose in the ear canal and not perform as well. Those curious about the lawsuit should look up United States ex rel. Moldex-Metric v. 3M Company, case number 3:16-cv-1533-MBS (DSC). “The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the men and women serving in the United States military from defective products and fraudulent conduct,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Department’s Civil Division. “Government contractors who seek to profit at the … Read more
A California jury on Friday found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged the company’s glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, caused his cancer and ordered the company to pay a jaw-dropping $289 million in damages. The case of school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging glyphosate causes cancer. Monsanto, a unit of Bayer AG following a $62.5 billion acquisition by the German conglomerate, faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States. The jury at San Francisco’s Superior Court of California deliberated for three days before finding that Monsanto had failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its weed killers. It awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages…. Read more
A contractor has agreed to pay $9.1 million to the U.S. government for selling defective earplugs issued to thousands of servicemembers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 to 2015. Known as "selective attenuation earplugs," 3M's Combat Arms earplugs would "loosen in the wearers ear, imperceptibly to the wearer and even trained audiologists visually observing a wearer, thereby permitting damaging sounds to enter the ear canal by traveling around outside of the earplug," according to the whistleblower lawsuit complaint, which was settled Thursday. The earplugs were designed to be worn in two ways. The wearer could insert the plugs one way if they needed to hear speech and another way if they needed greater noise protection. The plugs looked like two inverted cones connected at … Read more
3M Co. has agreed to pay $9.1 million to settle a claim it sold defective earplugs to the U.S. military.  Military Times reports on the settlement, announced late last week by the U.S. Department of Justice. Maplewood-based 3M (NYSE: MMM) admitted no wrongdoing in the deal. The government had accused 3M and Aearo Technologies Inc. of knowingly providing the military with earplugs that were too short, causing them to gradually loosen in the some users' ears until they didn't provide protection. 3M bought Aearo in 2007. The Star Tribune also has a report, noting that lawsuit dates to a 2016 filing by a whistleblower recently identified as Moldex-Metric Inc., an earplug maker that has sparred in court with 3M previously. Moldex will get a portion of the settlement. In a statement, 3M … Read more
Without admitting liability, 3M Co. has agreed to pay $9.1 million to settle allegations that it supplied the U.S. military with defective earplugs, Department of Justice officials announced late Thursday. The settlement, which involves the second version of 3M’s “dual-ended combat arms earplugs” (CAEv2), resolves a whistleblower’s allegations that 3M violated the federal False Claims Act by selling defective earplugs to the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency, Justice officials said in a statement. “Specifically, the United States alleged that 3M, and its predecessor, Aearo Technologies Inc., knew the CAEv2 was too short for proper insertion into users’ ears and that the earplugs could loosen imperceptibly and therefore did not perform well for certain individuals. The United States further alleged that 3M did not disclose this design defect to the military,” the statement said. The allegations were initially brought up in a 2016 lawsuit filed by a whistleblower, one recently identified (via… Read more
A contracting company agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold the U.S. military defective earplugs. The Minnesota-based 3M Company allegedly sold its dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, to the Defense Logistics Agency without disclosing defects that decreased the actual effectiveness of the hearing protection the device offered. “Government contractors who seek to profit at the expense of our military will face appropriate consequences," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division in a Thursday press release. The allegations were brought against 3M through the enforcement of the False Claims Act, according to the release. Although the case has been resolved, all claims within the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination … Read more
The biggest tobacco companies in the United States will start running prime-time television commercials and full-page ads in national newspapers on Sunday — but the campaign is unlikely to spur enthusiasm for their products. “More people,” one ad says, “die every year from smoking than murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol, combined.” Another reads: “Cigarette companies intentionally designed cigarettes with enough nicotine to create and sustain addiction.” Each ad starts by noting that Altria, R. J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard and Philip Morris USA were ordered to make the statements by a federal court. The messages stem from a lawsuit brought by the Justice Department in 1999. As part of the 2006 ruling in the suit, which sought to punish cigarette makers for decades of deceiving the public about the dangers of their product, the companies were ordered to disseminate “corrective statements” centered on the health risks and addictive nature of… Read more
According to InsideClimate News, the office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had been investigating ExxonMobil for a year before it issued a recent subpoena for “documents on what Exxon knew about climate change and what it told shareholders and the public.” The subpoena compelled ExxonMobil to hand over scientific research and communications about climate change dating back to 1977. (Exxon and Mobil merged to become a single corporation in 1999.) The investigation is based on New York State’s consumer-protection and general-business laws and, crucially, the state’s Martin Act, InsideClimate News reported. That statute prohibits fraud or misrepresentation in the sale of securities and commodities, and gives the Attorney General extraordinary power to fight financial fraud. Exxon had no duty to share with the public the information it gathered about climate change starting almost forty years ago, but it was forbidden to deceive shareholders and potential buyers of its… Read more
Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, a small group of otolaryngologists have repeatedly testified, on behalf of the tobacco industry, that heavy smoking did not cause the cancer in cases of dying patients suing for damages, according to a study by a Stanford University School of Medicine researcher. “I was shocked by the degree to which these physicians were willing to testify, in my opinion in an unscientific way, to deny a dying plaintiff — suffering the aftermath of a lifetime of smoking — a fair trial,” said Robert Jackler, MD, professor and chair of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, referring to the physicians cited in the study as a “pool of experts willing to say over and over again that smoking didn’t cause cancer.” The study was created by a Stanford University School of Medicine researcher and published online July 17 in Laryngoscope. Jackler, who holds the Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall… Read more
Three major U.S. tobacco companies including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard, and Altria’s Philip Morris USA will pay $100 million to settle hundreds of federal lawsuits over smoking, according to an announcement from plaintiffs’ lawyers on Wednesday. The agreement will cover more than 400 lawsuits filed in federal court in Florida by smokers or their families, according to the announcement. The settlement will not cover cases that have gone to trial or already reached a verdict. Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds will each pay $42.5 million, and Lorillard will pay $15 million, according to a lead lawyer for plaintiffs, Joe Rice of law firm Motley Rice. It is the first major agreement reached by the three companies to resolve a chunk of so-called Engle cases, named after a former class action brought by Florida residents over injuries or deaths they said were caused by tobacco-related medical conditions. In 2006, the Florida… Read more
“Are you awake now? Do you hear what the jury is saying? You have to stop,” Cynthia Robinson wants to tell the tobacco industry. The Florida widow recently won a $23.6 billion lawsuit against tobacco company R.J. Reynolds, one of the largest recent judgments on the industry, and in an interview with TIME, she says she hopes they listen to the jury’s message. Robinson’s husband Michael Johnson died in 1996 at age of 36 from lung cancer, and in her lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds, she and her attorneys argued that the company was aware that cigarettes were addictive and caused lung cancer, but was negligent in telling smokers like Johnson about those risks. Johnson got hooked on cigarettes when he was just 13-years-old, and eventually smoked up to three packs a day, often lighting his next cigarette with the burning end of the one he just finished. “He was a… Read more
A Florida jury awarded a widow $23.6 billion in punitive damages in her lawsuit against tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, her lawyer said. Cynthia Robinson claimed that smoking killed her husband, Michael Johnson, in 1996. She argued R.J. Reynolds was negligent in not informing him that nicotine is addictive and smoking can cause lung cancer. Johnson started smoking when he was 13 and died of lung cancer when he was 36. The jury award Friday evening is “courageous,” said Robinson’s lawyer, Christopher Chestnut. “If anyone saw the documents that this jury saw, I believe that person would have awarded a similar or greater verdict amount,” he said. The Escambia County trial took four weeks and the jury deliberated for 15 hours, according to the Pensacola News Journal. The verdict included more than $16 million in compensatory damages, the newspaper said. Nine ex-smokers on their last cigarette Chestnut said five… Read more

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