In our last update on the 3M Combat Earplugs litigation, we were waiting on Judge Rodgers’s ruling on the Defendant’s “federal contractor” defense. Well, recently the Judge issued her ruling, and we won the motion! This is great news all of the 170,000+ cases that have been filed. Had the 3M won the motion, all of the cases could have been dismissed in one fell-swoop.
So what’s happening next? Judge Rodgers has selected 30 cases from the much larger body of cases to engage in what is called “case-specific discovery.” These cases will undergo a much more rigorous work-up, including depositions of the individual plaintiffs and their doctors. Eventually, one or more of these cases may go to trial in 2021.
These first trials are what is known as “bellwether trials.” These trials are used by the parties to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of the case against 3M. The success or failure of bellwether trials also helps determine the viability of any potential settlement in the future.
Much work is left to be done, however, and our firm stands ready to steer our 3M Combat Earplugs clients towards a successful resolution!