Army veteran wins $50M in lawsuit against 3M for hearing damage caused by headphones

An Army veteran who sued company 3M for hearing damage that was caused by its product won $50 million in court on Friday.

A jury gave Luke Vilsmeyer has $50 million verdict, the second largest amount a veteran has won in a series of lawsuits against the company, Reuters reported.

Vilsmeyer said he incurred hearing damage after wearing 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 from 2006 to 2017. The headphones also caused severe tinnitus.

3M is facing lawsuits from more than 280,000 active and former military members, with lawyers for the plaintiffs saying the company has already lost millions in other lawsuits.

“It is clear 3M’s defenses — whether in the courts, to investors, or the public — are unconvincing and without merit,” the plaintiffs’ lawyers said, according to Reuters.

Plaintiffs say the company did not provide instructions for the headphones, faked test results and kept design flaws hidden.

3M says it was following government mandates and military designs, with lawyers saying the company will appeal the Friday decision.

The lawsuits have amassed to become the largest federal mass tort litigation in history, Reuters noted.

The Hill has reached out to plaintiff lawyer Bryan Aylstock and 3M for comment.

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