3M fact sheet

The 3M lawsuit is a private lawsuit against 3M alleging 3M’s faulty earplugs caused hearing loss and tinnitus

We keep hearing three common myths about these cases and wanted to get the word out there so our Veterans are informed of their options.

1. You will not lose service-connected benefits for tinnitus and hearing loss

Current Veterans already receiving VA Disability benefits for hearing loss and tinnitus will not lose those benefits after a settlement is made against 3M.  There is a misunderstanding because sometimes that is not the case.  If the lawsuit was against the Federal Gov’t and/or VA, then it would fall under the Federal Tort Claims Act.  In that case, future benefits would be offset by a settlement.  But in the 3M case it is NOT against the government!  It is a private lawsuit against 3M.  So it does not fall under the Federal Tort Claims Act, and future benefits for VA Disability would not be affected by a private lawsuit judgement or settlement.  Please note:  some other VA benefits are needs-based could be affected by a large settlement, but VA service-connected disabilities are NOT need-based.  Therefore, there is not offset for tinnitus or hearing loss for VA Disability.

2. The total amount paid out by 3M will likely be in the Billions

The $9.1 Million settlement you may have heard about is the settlement between 3M and the federal government regarding that contract.  It is NOT the total that will be distributed to the 3M Veterans suing 3M.  We expect the total settlement to be in the billions – possibly the largest amount ever paid out for this type of lawsuit. 

3. The 3M lawsuit is a multi-district litigation (MDL) and NOT a class action

Keep in mind, this case is a Multi-district lawsuit, and NOT a class action. That means if you have more severe hearing loss, you will likely have a stronger case for more compensation that someone with minor hearing loss. Every case will be a separate lawsuit. Since there are thousands of cases against 3M, it was consolidated with all cases moving to the Federal District Court in Pensacola, FL, for the sake of efficiency. You have more control of your case in MDL.

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