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July 27, 2020 – A federal judge in Florida has harpooned a key legal defense that 3M planned to use against thousands of lawsuits accusing the company of knowingly making defective earplugs used by U.S. soldiers.

Maplewood-based 3M has denied the allegations and invoked the “government contractor defense,” which shields contractors from tort liability for defects in products designed and developed for the federal government.

3M has claimed that the earplug in question was designed in close collaboration with the military. But U.S. District Court Judge M. Casey Rodgers ruled Friday that there was insufficient evidence “to establish the elements of the government contractors defense” by 3M.

Reference: Hughlett, Mike, 27 July 2020, Judge Says the Maplewood-based Firm Can’t Use the “Government Contractor Defense”, accessed 20 October 2020 https://www.startribune.com/judge-rules-against-key-3m-defense-in-earplug-lawsuit/571921552

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Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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