3M is appealing for a new trial to a Florida federal judge over the company's lawsuit against Combat Arms Earplugs, where a plaintiff was awarded a $50 million verdict in a bellwether trial in multidistrict litigation.
The attorney representing the company said that the plaintiff inflamed the jury with inappropriate language and arguments for a trial. The company even claimed that the award was excessive as the plaintiff suffered from mild hearing loss and treatable tinnitus, which cannot be justified for such a huge reward.
As per the motion filed by the company, the trial was tainted by prejudicial damages evidence and argument, which was similar to arguments made in other cases. It eventually resulted in larger punitive awards within the MDL and far larger compensatory awards for similar and severe injuries.
The plaintiff's claim of suffering from permanent hearing loss after using the earplugs for more than a decade helped him to get $50 million in damages from the jury. However, as per the recently filed motion, the plaintiff admitted that he did not wear the hearing aids at times and is still gainfully employed. Even the expert witness who testified in the suit said that treatment was available for the plaintiff's tinnitus.
The company even pointed out the plaintiff's arguments that claimed 3M was focused on profit-making over soldier safety from its earplugs. The company claimed that the arguments were tailor-made to acquire punitive damages.