What's the Problem?
3M Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2, also known as "CAEv2," has a product defect that may be responsible for severe hearing loss among U.S. military veterans in Alaska and all across the United States.
The problem is that the 3M earplugs can loosen without the wearer feeling it, inadvertently exposing the user to a risk of severe unilateral or bilateral hearing loss. Countless veterans from Alaska have likely suffered hearing loss or other severe ear problems from defective 3M earplugs, as several million veterans have been exposed to this risk.
3M Pays $9.1 Million Over Defective Combat Arms Earplugs
In July 2018, 3M was ordered to pay $9.1 million to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice. The complaint alleged that 3M officials knew about problems with the military earplugs as early as 2000, then hid internal documents and knowingly sold millions of defective earplugs to the Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency beginning in 2003. By the time the U.S. military stopped using 3M Combat Arms Earplugs in 2015, over 1 million veterans were receiving benefits for hearing loss; another 1.4 million had been diagnosed with tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears).
Related Article: 3M Earplug Lawsuit Update
What are 3M Combat Arms Earplugs?
3M marketed its dual-sided Combat Arms Earplugs to the United States military as an advanced hearing protection device that could block out high-impact noises such as gunshots and explosions on the battlefield. 3M military earplugs were standard issues for millions of U.S. service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 to 2015.
Has Anyone Received a Settlement from the 3M Earplug Lawsuit?
To date, at least 16 bellwether trials have been brought to court over 3M Combat Arms Earplugs. 3M has lost 10 of these cases, and the 13 plaintiffs in those cases have been awarded nearly $300 million in damages.
Because 3M has appealed these rulings, the company has yet to pay any of the awards. 3M is also attempting to avoid responsibility for these lawsuits by having Aearo Technologies LLC, the subsidiary that manufactured the earplugs, file for bankruptcy and trying to spin off Aearo.
Read Also: Hearing Loss Settlement Amounts
When Will the 3M Lawsuits Settle?
The time it takes for 3M lawsuits to settle depends on a variety of factors. Settlement talks began in late 2022, but the parties failed to reach a settlement agreement. One of the main factors in coming to a settlement is 3M’s willingness to consider fair awards — amounts that will assuredly depend on the company’s success in court.
Most of the military earplug lawsuits pending against 3M are still in their early stages. In the spring of 2023, the Florida federal court handling the cases began transferring them from an administrative docket to an active docket.
That means that many of the plaintiffs who filed these suits have only started to pay court filing fees, and the cases are still in early litigation.
Read Also: How Long Will the Settlement Take?
How Much Will the Average Payout for a 3M Earplug Lawsuit Be?
It is still uncertain as to how much the average payout for a 3M earplug lawsuit may be. Much depends on what transpires in the courts in the coming weeks and months. However, verdicts and settlement amounts will likely vary widely. The more extensive the plaintiff's hearing loss or other injury, the higher the payout to be expected.
Do You Qualify to File a 3M Earplug Lawsuit?
Veterans who have been diagnosed with severe hearing loss in Alaska are filing lawsuits against 3M to recover compensation for damages linked to the use of defective Combat Arms Earplugs. Our attorneys believe affected veterans may be entitled to just compensation and are committed to pursuing justice no matter how complex the case is.
Filing a 3M hearing loss lawsuit is the only way that Alaska veterans and their families can obtain the compensation they deserve for suffering and damage related to defective army earplugs. Furthermore, filing an Alaska 3M earplug lawsuit is the best method to hold 3M accountable for the negligence the company caused.
See the other product liability lawsuits our lawyers have covered.