3M Hit With $110 Million Earplug Verdict as Servicemembers Continue to Sue Over Defective Combat Earplugs


The $110 Million Verdict Comes Just One Month After a Thomas J. Henry Client Was Awarded $22.5 Million for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (January 28, 2022) – A federal jury in Pensacola, Florida delivered a substantial $110 million verdict against 3M late Thursday over damages related to defective combat earplugs manufactured by the company for use by the U.S. military.

The jury awarded $55 million each to two plaintiffs, Ronald Sloan and William Wayman. The award totaled $30 million in compensatory damages and $80 million in punitive damages.

The trial was the 11th bellwether involving 3M’s earplugs over the last 12 months, and the verdict follows a significant $22.5 million verdict awarded to Thomas J. Henry client and U.S. Army Veteran Theodore Finley in December. Prior to this latest verdict, the $22.5 million verdict awarded to Thomas J. Henry’s client was the largest earplug verdict faced by 3M.

“As more and more verdicts are delivered against 3M, we are seeing jurors truly want to hold the company accountable for its conscious disregard of our United States servicemembers,” said Thomas J. Henry. “3M is a multi-billion-dollar corporation, and these jurors understand that big, multi-million-dollar verdicts are necessary for the company to feel any meaningful impact for its negligence.”

Thomas J. Henry was among the first to take action to ensure servicemembers would be able to seek compensation for their damages, and he launched a campaign to raise awareness of the potentially defective earplugs. Thomas J. Henry currently represents more than 10,000 servicemembers in their claims against 3M.

“We owe it to our military members to look out for their best interests,” said Thomas J. Henry Law. “Though large, these verdicts are only the beginning. There will be many more to come.”

About Thomas J. Henry Law

Thomas J. Henry Law, PLLC, is one of the nation’s leading personal injury firms. Since 1993, the firm has fought to secure justice and compensation for individuals who have lost loved ones due to the negligence of others and to prevent similar instances of wrongful death from occurring again. Over that time, Thomas J. Henry and his firm have been the recipients of numerous awards and recognitions.

In 2021, Thomas J. Henry Law was named “Law Firm of the Year” by the American Institute of Legal Professionals.

In 2020, the firm was named one of the Best Places to Work by Glassdoor for the second consecutive year. It was the only law firm to secure the accolade. Firm founder Thomas J. Henry was named one of SA Scene Magazine’s Best San Antonio Lawyers. Thomas J. Henry was also recognized in Texas Lawyer’s (an ALM Company) Southwest Top Verdicts and Settlements of 2020 for securing the #1 Gross Negligence Verdict for the year.

In 2019, Thomas J. Henry Law was recognized as one of the nation’s Premier Law Firms by Newsweek.com. That same year, Bloomberg Businessweek published a feature on Thomas J. Henry, highlighting his firm’s “clear commitment to client satisfaction.” Thomas J. Henry was also named the Best Attorney of San Antonio by the SA Current.

In 2018, Thomas J. Henry was named a Distinguished Lawyer by Lawyers of Distinction and was also recognized as one of the Best Personal Injury Attorneys in the nation by Newsweek.com. In 2017, Thomas J. Henry achieved one of the 10 largest verdicts recorded in Texas for the year (awarded to Thomas J. Henry by Texas Lawyer, an ALM company) as well as the #1 Texas Car Accident, Bus Accident, and Negligent Supervision Verdicts for the year (awarded to Thomas J. Henry by TopVerdict.com).

Other recent results include:

  • $50 Million for a Trucking Accident Resulting in Wrongful Death (Expenses: $1,126,381 | Attorney’s Fees: $21,000,000 | Net to Client: $27,000,000)
  • $35 Million for a Trucking Accident Resulting in Wrongful Death (Expenses: $100,000.00 | Attorney’s Fees: $12,750,000.00 | Net to Client: $22,150,000.00)
  • $30.2 Million for an Accident Involving a Recalled Vehicle Resulting in Spinal Cord and Back Injuries (Expenses: $39,576.15 | Attorney’s Fees: $10,060,980.00 | Net to Client: $20,121,960.57)
  •  $12.7 Million for a Medical Malpractice Resulting in Spinal Cord and Back Injuries (Expenses: $300.000.00 | Attorney’s Fees: $2,000,000.00 | Net to Client: $10.4 Million – Purchase of Lifetime Annuity)
  • $10.9 Million for Medical Malpractice Resulting in Spinal Cord and Back Injuries (Expenses: $300,000.00 | Attorney’s Fees: $3,200,000.00 | Net to Client: $4,029,762.00 – Purchase of Lifetime Annuity)
  • $10 Million for a Company Vehicle Accident Resulting in Spinal Cord and Back Injuries (Expenses: $125,000.00 | Attorney’s Fees: $4,250,000.00 | Net to Client: $5,625,000.00)

In 2016, Forbes Magazine named Thomas J. Henry a “Texas Leader in Law,” noting his ability to secure large financial awards, a positive reputation among professional peers, and a dedication to philanthropy at the local, national, and global levels.

Thomas J. Henry is also a lifetime member of both the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and of Rue Ratings’ “Best Attorneys of America.”

Outside of the courtroom, the firm is known for its many philanthropic endeavors and generous contributions to local and global communities.

The firm has an active philanthropy program that supports causes related to poverty, veterans, national disaster relief, education, animals, and the arts.

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