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The United States government was recently paid $9.1 million in a settlement by 3M Company, a manufacturer of earplugs sold to the military for its service members. The lawsuit was initially brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act, then by the government, because of defective earplugs that 3M sold between 2003 and 2015.
The 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2), when working properly, were meant to protect soldiers from the hearing-related damage that can result from exposure to high-noise situations like combat and military practice. Unfortunately, the product did not uphold its purpose for some service members because of 3M’s false claims and failure to disclose the earplugs were defective.
If you or a loved one suffers hearing damage from the 3M earplugs, speak with a 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawsuit lawyer about your options for financial recovery in the lawsuit.
Why 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Were Military Issued
The U.S. military issued 3M Combat Arms Earplugs to military men and women because of the unique dual-ended functions of each earplug:
- One side of the earplugs was meant to block out all sound when inserted into the user’s ear.
- When the earplug was turned around, the other side’s purpose was to block out louder sounds but still allow the user to hear soft sounds, such as commands from a fellow soldier.
The 3M earplugs were standard-issued to armed service members between 2003 and 2015 because they were functional for soldiers to switch between the two “settings” and protect their ears from noise-related damage. But the products had a defect that did not hold up under testing, and 3M did not disclose the defect to the government.
What Was Wrong with the 3M Earplugs?
Unfortunately, the 3M earplugs contained a huge defect that left any servicemen and servicewomen who used them between 2003-2015 at risk of hearing damage.
The earplugs were found to be too short and unable to insert properly into some user’s ears. When worn, they could loosen without the user noticing but in a way that did not provide the protection 3M claimed they would.
According to the lawsuit, 3M falsified test results showing the earplugs met the required standard for hearing protection when they did not. They also did not disclose the earplugs’ defect to the U.S. military but continued to sell the earplugs (and allow them to be sold) until 2015. 3M allegedly knew about the defect as early as 2000.
Can I Recover Money if I Suffered Hearing Loss From Using the Earplugs?
If you or a loved one served in the armed forces between 2003 and 2015, used the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2, and suffers from hearing loss or tinnitus, you may be entitled to financial recovery for what you suffered. Call a good 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawsuit lawyer today to find out if you’re eligible.
3M’s negligence has resulted in various hearing problems for servicemen and -women who served our country during the 12 years the defective earplugs were used. Hearing problems including tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears), full or partial hearing loss, and even loss of balance.
Hearing loss and tinnitus from loud sounds like machinery, aircraft, gunfire, and combat are common in veterans and rated under the VA Schedule of Ratings Disabilities. Many sufferers of tinnitus experience psychological and physical effects as a result of the perception of ringing, buzzing, or other sounds. Mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts have resulted from tinnitus.
Needless to say, hearing damage is significant and life-changing for soldiers and veterans. The 3M earplugs were chosen for our armed force members with the purpose of protecting them from noise damage. Instead, 3M’s negligence in testing and selling the earplugs has put thousands of military members at risk for hearing damage and tinnitus.
Speak with a 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawyer Today
At John Foy & Associates, our attorneys are proud to represent military members and veterans who are experienced hearing damage as a result of 3M’s defective Combat Arms earplugs. If you have tinnitus or hearing loss, contact us today for a FREE consultation where we’ll hear your story and discuss your legal options. With more than two decades of experience in personal injury law, we know how to defend your rights in seeking the fullest financial recovery for your damages. Call us at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form to the right as soon as possible for your free consultation.