3M Military Earplugs Lawsuit

Millions of Service Members Put At Risk for Hearing Loss by Earplug Design Defect

3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs™ issued to millions of service members allegedly have a dangerous design defect that allows the user to be exposed to dangerous levels of sound that can cause hearing damage. As a result of the defective design, the Combat Arms Earplugs™ will subtly loosen while being worn. This loosening allowed dangerous levels of sound to enter the ear canal and cause hearing damage and loss. Of all the ongoing medical problems facing soldiers today, hearing loss is one of the largest issues. What’s worse is that the defense contractor who sold the earplugs to the US Department of Defense knew about the design defect and knowingly put millions of service members at risk for hearing loss.

The following represents wars and foreign conflicts between 2003 and present where service members were issued the Combat Arms Earplugs™:

  • War of Afghanistan
  • The Iraq War
  • War in North-West Pakistan (part of War on Terror)
  • War in Somalia
  • American-led intervention in Libya (2011- part of Libyan Crisis)
  • Operation Ocean Shield in the Indian Ocean
  • 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)

The Department of Defense brought allegations against 3M for selling dangerous and defective Combat Arms Ears™ and 3M paid $9.1 million to resolve the claim (CAEv2). However, no help or compensation has yet been provided to the actual service members who suffered the damaging effects of the defective earplugs and have experienced hearing loss and damage.

Several different lawsuits were filed against 3M by individual veterans. In March 2019, they were all combined into one case called an MDL. It is similar to a class-action lawsuit. The MDL is being heard in Florida under one judge. The 3M Combat Earplugs case unfolded over time as given below:

2003

2003

Aero Technologies begins supplying the defective earplugs to the Department of Defense.

2003

2008

2008

3M acquires Aero Technologies and continues providing the faulty earplugs to the Department of Defense.

2008

2015

2015

The Department of Defense terminates its contract with 3M for earplugs.

2015

2016

2016

A lawsuit is filed against 3M, claiming that 3M knowingly supplied the Department of Defense with defective earplugs for over a decade.

2016

2018

2018

3M agrees to pay $9.1 million to the United States to settle the lawsuit.

2018

2019

January 2019

Multiple veterans file lawsuits against 3M, claiming that the faulty earplugs had damaged their hearing.

2019

2019

March 2019

The lawsuits are all combined into one MDL.

2019

2019

August 2019

Science day. Experts testified to the court about how human hearing works, how loud sounds can cause hearing loss, and how hearing protection devices are tested.

2019

2019

October 2019

US District Court Judge David Herndon is appointed as a special master to the case.

2019

2020

March 2020

So far, 139,693 veterans have filed claims and are part of the MDL.

2020

Frequently Asked Questions

A: The most commonly reported symptom is tinnitus. You can hear a noise that no one else can hear. The noise may sound like ringing, buzzing, hissing, clicking, humming, or roaring. The noise may get louder or softer, or stay the same. It may affect one or both ears. In some cases, the noise is so loud that the sufferer has trouble hearing anything else, can’t focus on tasks, and has difficulty sleeping. These phantom sounds are caused by damaged structures in your ears.

 

Many users of the defective earplugs also have measurable hearing loss to varying degrees. Some also suffer from Auditory Processing Disorder, meaning you have difficulty understanding what various sounds mean due to auditory nerve damage.

A: Any member of the military who served between 2002 and 2015, was issued the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, used them on one or more occasions to protect their hearing, and has tinnitus and/or hearing loss.

Any member of a police force or the general public who used 3M Combat Arms Earplugs between 2002 and 2015 and has tinnitus and/or hearing loss. Many police officers, hunters, and target shooters purchased these faulty earplugs and expected them to protect their hearing while they fired weapons.

A: No. Anyone who served, used the defective earplugs in noisy situations to protect their hearing, and suffered hearing damage as a result is eligible. A single exposure to very loud noises while wearing these faulty earplugs could have caused hearing damage.

A:

The type and amount of compensation you could be eligible to claim will depend on the circumstances of your situation and the severity of your hearing loss. In general, you could be eligible to claim damages including:

  • Medical bills (both current and future)
  • Loss of earnings
  • Loss of future earnings (due to disability)
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain, suffering, and mental anguish

If you were issued the defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs™ and have been diagnosed with or are suffering from hearing loss, you may qualify for significant financial compensation. You do not have to have served overseas to be eligible. Contact one of our Earplug Lawsuit attorneys today for your free case review. Time is of the essence due to the statute of limitations. The case is well underway. If you want compensation for your injury, contact us as soon as possible.

In fact, prior to becoming an attorney, Kathryn Harrington, a member of HGD and the MP3 defective ear plug litigation team, served on active duty in the military for eight years and as a reservist for five additional years. As a result, Kathryn shares the veteran’s unique experience and the veterans perspective when it comes to attempting to access military records and other aspects of the military systems regarding potential claims. Kathryn is always ready to assist any vet that may have a question about the 3M ear plug claims.

She, as well as any other member of the 3M team, can be reached by calling our 800 number: 1-800-220-8999

Call us today for your free case evaluation at 1-866-970-0568.

We will fight relentlessly to get you the compensation you deserve for your prescription drug injuries.

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