Monsour Law Firm Wins Another Verdict in 3M Earplug Litigation

Lead counsel Douglas Monsour has prevailed again after previously obtaining a record verdict against 3M for earplugs it sold to the United States military

On April 29, 2022, a federal jury in Gainesville, Florida, ruled in favor of U.S. Army veteran Jonathon Vaughn in his case against defendants 3M and its subsidiary Aearo Technologies, LLC on claims that defendants' combat earplugs failed to protect his hearing and worsened his tinnitus. His $2.2 million verdict was the ninth trial victory of the 15 bellwether trials to date in the largest litigation in the country. The case was tried in Gainesville, Florida, before Federal District Judge Steven D. Grimberg of the Northern District of Georgia.

Lead counsel Douglas Monsour won a previous record verdict against 3M on Dec. 10, 2021, when a federal jury in Tallahassee, Florida, awarded $22.5 million to United States Army veteran Theodore Finley.

This trial, Monsour was joined by Katy Krottinger, also of The Monsour Law Firm, as well as John B. Quinn, Adam Wolfson, and Matt Hosen of Quinn Emanuel, and Jennifer Hoekstra of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz.

"It is clear 3M's defenses — whether in the courts, to investors or the public — are unconvincing and without merit," said a joint statement from lead plaintiffs' counsel in the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) and Douglas Monsour, lead trial counsel.

The jury found for plaintiff Vaughn on all theories of liability, including for consumer fraud. This finding will allow plaintiff to seek additional costs and attorney's fees. The jury also found that neither Vaughn nor the U.S. Army were at fault.

Service members have prevailed in nine trials while 3M has prevailed in six trials, all pending in the massive MDL presided over by Judge Mary Catherine Rodgers of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The nine plaintiff verdicts total over $222 million. Judge Rodgers has asked other judges to conduct some of the trials. Here, Judge Stephen D. Grimberg of the Northern District of Georgia volunteered to oversee Vaughn's trial, held in Gainesville, Florida.

More than 290,000 cases are pending in the litigation, according to a report of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Many were filed in an "administrative" docket. Judge Rodgers has begun ordering plaintiffs' counsel to convert the MDL's administratively filed cases to the active docket, and will remand those cases for additional trials.

The case is Vaughn v. 3M Co., N.D. Fla., No. 7:20-cv-00134, verdict 4/29/22.

Katy Krottinger        
Phone: (903) 999-9999

Source: Monsour Law Firm