Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis, & Overholtz Secures $77.5 Million Jury Verdict Against 3M

May 20, 2022

Pensacola, FL (May 20, 2022) –  A Pensacola jury handed down a verdict against 3M, after the jury found earplugs sold by 3M to the United States Military for use by service members were defectively designed.  

Mr. Beal was a combat engineer who spent the majority of his deployment in Iraq identifying and detonating IEDs to protect other soldiers and civilians.  The jury heard from many witnesses including Mr. Beal’s squad leader, a retired rear-admiral and a retired brigadier general.

The jury’s verdict awarded James Beal 77.5 million. Plaintiff James Beal served in the Army from 2005 to 2009, and in the Army Reserves until 2011, and he used the CAEv2 for all of his service. While wearing the CAEv2, Mr. Beal was exposed to noise from a variety of weapons, including on the range, during training and in combat. He suffers from bilateral tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss.

“It is clear from the result of this, the 16th bellwether trial, that 3Ms actions regarding the CAEv2 do not resonate with either jurors — and have had an immense impact on thousands of soldiers impacted like Jay Beal. Jay is so proud that he was able to have his day in court for all veterans injured by this defective hearing protection.” – Jennifer Hoekstra

Attorney Brad Bradford stated, “Jay Beal is a deserving soldier, like so many others, who is facing a life of hearing loss and tinnitus because 3M put money and market share over soldiers’ safety.  We are glad the jurors saw through 3M’s spin trying to justify conduct that cannot be justified.”  

“We are honored to represent Mr. Beal.  Jay is a humble hero who was willing to stand up to 3M during this long trial process.” – Daniel Thornburgh 

The trial team for Mr. Beal included: Brad Bradford, Bryan Aylstock, Jennifer Hoekstra, and Daniel Thornburgh from Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz and Michael Sacchet and Megan Odom from Ciresi Conlin. Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, PLLC represent over 40,000 active and retired military service members of the nearly 250,000 total cases filed in Pensacola, Florida in the multidistrict litigation in federal court presided over by local federal judge Honorable Margaret C. “Casey” Rodgers. 

Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz PLLC is a law firm driven to protect the rights of consumers who are seriously injured as a result of defective products, defective medical devices, accidents, or other negligent behavior. Founded in 2001, Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz has represented over 250,000 clients across the country since its inception and has recovered over two billion dollars in verdicts and settlements for clients. 


Jennifer Hoekstra 

[email protected]