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3M Military Earplug Lawsuit in Michigan

3M Earplug illustration

In July of 2018, a 3M army earplugs lawsuit was settled against the Minnesota-based company 3M for providing faulty Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs v2 (CAEv2) to military men and women who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 to 2015. 3M agreed to a $9.1 million settlement to resolve allegations that they knowingly sold defective earplugs to the United States Military and service members.

Hundreds of other 3M earplugs lawsuits have also been filed by veterans who believe 3M and the Combat Arms earplugs version 2 should be held accountable. The faulty design, sale, and implementation of these earplugs has caused a great deal of suffering for a number of veterans.

Faulty 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs

3M claimed that their Dual-Ended Earplugs would provide hearing protection from loud noises for both close-range firearms and loud explosions while still allowing servicemen and women to hear sounds like voices, depending upon which end is used. 3M’s Combat Arms earplugs did not do what they were supposed to do and caused injuries.

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the product did not fit properly and would often loosen, allowing damaging noises to enter the ear canal, therefore, defeating their protective purposes. In addition, military personnel in the field relied on them to function in high noise environments, taking no extra precautions to lower the risk of damage to their ears.

“If the allegations in the 3M army earplug lawsuit are correct,” says Personal Injury Attorney Terry Cochran, “that means countless American veterans are victims and may suffer from hearing loss, Tinnitus or loss of balance due to faulty design and dishonest behavior. Both of which could have been avoided.”

The 3M lawsuit argues that Minnesota-based 3M Company designed the earplugs in a defective manner and did not warn users of the defect or provide safety instructions for their use. This led to the misuse of a defective product in an extremely unsafe environment, leading many veterans to suffer from tinnitus, hearing loss, and balance issues.

Military Earplugs

3M Knowingly Sold Defective Earplugs

Additional allegations at the trial claim that 3M and their predecessor, Aearo Technologies, Inc., were aware of the faulty design even before becoming the sole provider of selective attenuation earplugs for the U.S. Military.

The DOJ claims that Aearo tested the earplugs in the year 2000 and the test results came back with a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 0, meaning the earplugs held no protection against loud, damaging noises. Despite these shocking results, 3M falsely claimed that the earplugs met military standards, a violation of the False Claims Act. Without disclosing the defects that decreased the hearing protection, 3M was able to sell millions of dollars’ worth of their dual-ended earplugs version 2 (CAEv2) to the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency.

By 2013, it is estimated that more than a million veterans had a service-connected disability rating for tinnitus. By that time, 3M’s earplugs had been standard issue for about a decade. In 2006, the U.S. government entered into a contract with 3M, supplying an estimated 15,000 earplug packages with 50 pairs a package, for about $9 million in sales for that year.

Am I Eligible for Compensation?

The 3M lawsuit entitled thousands of veteran victims to be compensated by 3M for the sale and use of a defective product.

“Companies who knowingly hide important information regarding the impact of their products should be held responsible,” notes Personal Injury Attorney Eileen Kroll. Let Cochran, Kroll & Associates fight for your rights, as so many of you have fought for ours.

If you or a loved one meet the following criteria, you may be entitled to seek financial compensation:

  • Served in the U.S. Military between 2003-2015
  • Were issued 3M earplugs during service
  • Has documented hearing loss or Tinnitus after military enrollment
  • No documented hearing loss or Tinnitus at time of, or prior to military enrollment
  • No dishonorable discharges
  • No history of significant noise exposure outside of the military

If these conditions apply to you, contact our legal team at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. to learn about what kind of compensation you may be eligible for.

Contact Us

The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of injuries, disabilities, and death. The law firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families.

If you believe you are a victim of faulty Combat Arms™ Earplugs, it is critical that you seek legal help quickly. There is no obligation for a case evaluation and no fee is charged unless a recovery is made. Our team is familiar with the 3M earplugs lawsuit in Michigan and can help you receive compensation. Call us today at (866) 868-3779 to schedule your no-obligation case evaluation.

The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of injuries, disabilities and death. The firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families.

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