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

An Army veteran who sued 3M to hear damages caused by its product won $50 million in court Friday.

The jury gave Luke Vilsmeyer sentencing for $50 million, the second largest sum won by a veteran in a series of lawsuits against the company, Reuters mentioned.

Vilsmeyer said he experienced damage to his hearing 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 plaintiffs’ lawyers saying the company has already lost millions in other lawsuits.

“It is clear that 3M’s defenses – whether in the courts, to investors or to the public – are unconvincing and baseless,” the plaintiffs’ lawyers said, according to Reuters.

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

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

Reuters noted that the lawsuits combined to become the largest federal class-action lawsuit for torture in history.

The Hill has reached out to plaintiff’s attorney Brian Elstock and 3M for comment.

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