To Qualify for the 3M Lawsuit:
-Must have served in the U.S military between 2003 and 2015
-Must have used military issued dual-end earplugs during military service
-Must have unilateral or bilateral hearing loss
-Must not have any of the following: Waardenburg syndrome, Branchiootorenal syndrome, Stickler syndrome, Usher syndrome, Pendred syndrome, Alport syndrome, Otosclerosis, Meniere’s disease.
3M Combat Arms Ear Plugs Lawsuit
Combat Arms Earplugs™ made by 3M allegedly have a dangerous design that can cause them to subtly loosen while being worn. This defect can allow dangerous sounds to enter the ear canal and cause hearing damage, one of the largest ongoing medical problems facing soldiers today.
Millions of service members were issued Combat Arms Earplugs™ while engaging in foreign conflicts. Unfortunately, many may have been exposed to damaging sound levels after receiving defective and dangerous earplugs while fighting in:
- The Iraq War
- War in Afghanistan
- War in North-West Pakistan (part of War on Terror)
- War in Somalia
- Operation Ocean Shield in the Indian Ocean
- American-led intervention in Libya (2011- part of Libyan Crisis)
- American-led intervention in Iraq (2014 – 2017)
- American-led Intervention in Syria (2014 to present)
- Yemeni Civil War (2015 to present)
- American Intervention in Libya (2015 to present)
Defective Earplugs Were Standard Issue for More Than 10 Years
CAEv2 were standard issue in certain branches of the military during foreign conflicts between 2002 and 2016 and may have caused thousands of soldiers to suffer significant hearing loss and tinnitus, and exposed millions more to the risks of hearing damage caused by the allegedly defective earplugs.
But the Department of Justice said the stem of the earplugs was too short, making it difficult to insert them deeply enough into the ears of some wearers to obtain the proper fit. Essentially, the earplug may not make or maintain a tight seal in the ear of some wearers and allow dangerous sounds to enter the ear and cause hearing damage or tinnitus.
According to the DOJ lawsuit, 3M has known since 2000, that the earplugs were defective. Originally created by Aearo Technologies, 3M hired Aearo employees who developed and tested the earplugs after acquiring the company in 2008. These employees were aware of the defects as early as 2000, several years before 3M became the exclusive provider of selective attenuation earplugs to the military.
What is the Defect?
The dual-ended earplugs were too short to be properly inserted into users’ ears. As a result, the earplugs could gradually loosen without the soldier noticing. When the earplugs are not firmly in place, it can lead to hearing loss for some soldiers. According to the Department of Justice press release, the government also accused the manufacturer of knowing about the defect before selling the earplugs and failing to notify the military about the problem.
Take Legal Action
A recent VA study reported that more than 2.6 million veterans are receiving disability compensation for hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears).
You may be entitled to compensation from the makers of these earplugs if you or a loved one:
- Served in the military between 2003-2015
- Were issued earplugs during service
- Suffer from permanent hearing loss or tinnitus
In July 2018, 3M paid $9.1 million to resolve Department of Defense allegations that the company sold dangerous and defective Combat Arms Earplugs ™ (CAEv2) to the military for more than a decade without warning they were defective.
But the company has yet to help the service members who may have suffered serious hearing damage when the earplugs they depended on loosened and exposed them to dangerous sound levels. If you were diagnosed with or are suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus after serving in a foreign conflict and wearing defective earplugs, you might qualify for significant financial compensation.
Contact Jones Brown Law now for a free legal consultation. Even if you’re unsure which brand of earplugs was used during your service, we may still be able to determine if you can take legal action. Our knowledgeable case managers are available 24/7 to assist you.
Jones Brown Law is a national product liability law firm. Our lawyers have decades of experience on mass torts and class actions, product liability, securities, healthcare law, medical malpractice, and personal injury lawsuits. If you or a loved one suffered hearing loss as a result of using faulty 3M Combat Arms Ear Plugs, please fill out the form below or give us a call to learn about your legal rights and how we can assist you in seeking compensation from the manufacturer.
Jones Brown Law
If you were active in any branch of the military (including Reserves and National Guard) at any time from 2003 to 2015 and suffered hearing loss, you may be eligible for financial compensation from the earplug manufacturer. Call Jones Brown Law at 855-525-2999 for a free, no obligation case review.
* Taking part in the 3M dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs lawsuit will not affect your disability benefits. This lawsuit is against 3M, not the U.S. government or any branch of the armed services.