Jury finds 3M's earplugs caused US military vets hearing loss

NEW YORK (REUTERS) – 3M was found liable on Friday (April 30) for hearing damage suffered by three US military veterans who accused the company of covering up design defects in its earplugs, a blow to 3M which faces 200,000 similar lawsuits.

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.

3M said in a statement after the verdict 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.

Shares of 3M were down 1.2 per cent after the verdict, trading at US$196.64 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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