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In the 12-year period from 2003 to 2015, the U.S. Logistics Agency distributed Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) to thousands of soldiers, totaling millions of dollars of product. Unbeknownst to the U.S. military, however, the earplugs contained defects that put servicemen and servicewomen at risk for hearing loss or impairment.
This defect led to a lawsuit against the Minnesota-based 3M Company (formerly Aero Technologies), the supplier of the earplugs. 3M paid a settlement of $9.1 million, but no liability was determined and the company did not admit to any wrongdoing. However, thousands of service members and veterans were left with potential hearing loss or damage. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus and served during this period, you may be eligible for a lawsuit to seek financial recovery for your damages.
What Went Wrong with 3M’s Earplugs?
The Combat Arms CAEv2 Earplugs were standard issue for soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 to 2015. They contained a dual-ended design that was meant to provide two levels of function and protection to servicemembers:
- One side of the earplugs acted provided protection from loud noises, such as explosions or gunfire, while still allowing soldiers to hear and receive orders.
- The other side of the earbuds was meant to block out all sound.
But there were defects in the product’s design. The earplugs were allegedly too short to be properly inserted into the user’s ear. The earplugs would gradually become looser with use—and without the user noticing. This made each user vulnerable to hearing damage the military thought these earplugs were providing thorough protection against.
Did 3M Know About This Defect?
3M allegedly knew there were problems with the design of the earplugs as far back as 2000 when the product failed safety tests, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Yet, they continued manufacturing and marketing the earplugs without revealing the problems to those buying and distributing them to service members.
In July 2018, 3M agreed to pay the $9.1 million to the federal government, after a whistleblower stepped forward, for failing to disclose the flaw in the earplug design.
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What to Do if You Were Harmed by the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs
If you were harmed by the defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs while serving our country, you may be entitled to financial recovery for your damages. We believe your safety as a service member should be of the highest priority, and you shouldn’t have to bear the costs of hearing damage caused by defective equipment out of your control.
To be eligible for the CAEv2 lawsuit specifically, you’ll need to have:
- Served in the military between the years 2003 to 2015
- Been issued the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) during your service time
- Been diagnosed with tinnitus or hearing loss
If you or a loved one fit these criteria, don’t delay in getting legal help for your damages from these earplugs. A good 3M Combat Arms Earplugs lawyer can talk with you about your situation and the options for pursuing a claim today. The sooner you can ensure you’re eligible and get started with the legal process, the better.
There are already 1.6 million veterans receiving disability compensation for tinnitus, which is the sound of buzzing or ringing in your ears) or hearing loss, while over one million are being compensated for hearing loss, according to a VA study in 2015. This is also the last year the defective earplugs were being sold and distributed to soldiers. No service member should have to suffer from hearing loss because of someone else’s mistake. While a lawsuit can’t reverse the damage, it may help bring better peace of mind to soldiers and their families and ease financial worries.
Speak with a 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawyer Today
At John Foy & Associates, our product liability lawyers have dedicated their lives to helping those harmed by the negligent actions of others pursue a fair financial recovery. Servicemen and servicewomen are no exception, and we are here to help those eligible for the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs lawsuit seek a settlement they deserve.
Let us give you a FREE consultation today to discuss your options and how we can help. We’re risk-free: we don’t get paid unless we win you money. To get started, contact us today by calling 404-400-4000, or completing the form to the right.