3M lost two more cases Friday in its massive legal battle over military earplugs, and one came with a particular sting: a $50 million judgment against the company.

In both cases, veterans claimed that defective 3M earplugs caused their hearing loss and tinnitus.

A federal jury in Florida decided Friday in favor of Luke Vilsmeyer, 42, of Indiana, who served in the U.S. Army from 1999 to 2020. He won $50 million in compensatory damages.

Friday night, another federal jury awarded $8 million in compensatory damages to Steven Wilkerson, 43, of Mississippi, who served in the U.S. Army from 1999 to 2002 and in the Army National Guard from 2005,

3M has now lost eight of 13 bellwether trials in the largest U.S. mass tort ever.

"Eight juries have awarded more than $200 million in damages to U.S. service members and veterans, determining that 3M knowingly sold defective earplugs that resulted in life-altering injuries," lead plaintiffs' lawyers said in a statement. "It is clear 3M's defenses — whether in the courts, to investors or the public — are unconvincing and without merit."

In a statement, 3M noted that it won seven of the nine individual claims lodged by Wilkerson. That fact — along with the company's victory in five trials — "demonstrate that plaintiffs face significant challenges proving their claims," 3M said.

The company said it will continue to "defend our product," including through appealing the cases it has lost. 3M maintains the earplugs — which were standard issue to the U.S. military for years — are safe.

Over 280,000 military earplug claims are pending against 3M; about 42,000 of them are active and being readied for trial.

The lawsuit avalanche centers on the Combat Arms, or CAEv2, earplug, which a company called Aearo Technologies began selling to the U.S. Army in the late 1990s. 3M bought Aearo in 2008 and continued to sell the CAEv3 until 2015, dominating the military earplug market.

The suits have been roped together in a multidistrict litigation, or MDL, case in U.S. District Court of northern Florida.

MDLs are used in the federal court system for complex product liability matters with many separate claims. They commonly feature bellwether trials, which set a tone for settling all claims. Three more earplug bellwether trials are scheduled through May.

Awards to earplug plaintiffs have generally been higher in more recent bellwether trials.

In January, two Army veterans prevailed in court and were awarded $55 million each, while another jury in December dished out $22.5 million. Prior to December, the cases lost by 3M led to awards ranging from $1.05 million to $13 million.

If there's no settlement after the bellwether trials are completed this spring, Casey Rodgers, a U.S. district judge in Florida, has ruled that active cases will be remanded back to the various federal courts from which they came. They would be tried in waves of 500 cases.