Lawsuit Reveals Hearing Loss or Tinnitus in Veterans May Be Due to Faulty 3M Military-Issued Earplugs
In July of 2018, a 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 served in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 to 2015.
3M agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that they knowingly sold defective earplugs to the U.S. Military.
Hundreds of other lawsuits have also been filed by veterans who believe 3M should be held accountable.
Faulty 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs
3M claimed that their Dual-Ended Earplugs would provide hearing protection for both close range firearms and loud explosions while still allowing serviceman and women to hear sounds like voices, depending upon which end is used.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), however, the product did not fit properly and would often loosen, allowing damaging noises to enter the ear canal; therefore, defeating their protective purposes.
“If the allegations in the military earplugs 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.”
According to an article on MilitaryTimes.com: “The lawsuits allege that Minnesota-based 3M Company designed the earplugs in a defective manner and failed to warn users of the defect or to provide proper instructions for their use, according to a copy of one lawsuit provided to Military Times.”
Manufacturer of military earplugs was aware of the defects
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 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.
Without disclosing the defects that decreased the hearing protection, 3M was able to sell millions of dollars’ worth of their dual-ended earplugs to the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, “as of 2013, more than a million veterans had a service-connected disability rating for tinnitus.” By that time, 3M’s earplugs had been standard issue for 10 years.
“In 2006, the U.S. government entered into a contract with 3M, in which the company supplied an estimated annual quantity of 15,000 earplug packages, with 50 pairs per package, at a guaranteed price of at least $9 million in sales for the year, the lawsuit states,” reported MilitaryTimes.com
If you are a veteran suffering from hearing loss or Tinnitus due to 3M Earplugs you may be entitled to compensation
“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 military
“The allegations by the U.S. government were brought against 3M through the enforcement of the False Claims Act,” according to MilitaryTimes.com.
Act quickly – call now for a free consultation
Statutes of limitation limit the length of time you have to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the faulty earplugs. If you fail to file a lawsuit within that time period, you may forever be denied the justice due you.
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 case evaluation and no fee is charged unless a recovery is made.
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.