What's the Problem?
As a military service member, you do not have a choice regarding the equipment you use. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) does its best to choose quality contractors and suppliers, but sometimes defective products find their way into use.
Unfortunately, this was the problem with 3M dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2). In 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that 3M had agreed to pay $9.1 million to settle allegations that it knowingly sold its military earplugs to the DOD despite having firsthand knowledge of a defect that reduced the earplugs’ effectiveness as a hearing protection device.
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How Were the 3M Earplugs Defective?
3M Combat Arms Earplugs were defective because they were not properly designed to provide adequate hearing protection for military service members when worn as directed. Specifically, the earplugs were too short to be effective even when worn properly. And as a result, servicemen who wore 3M Combat Arms Earplugs were unaware that they were putting their hearing at risk.
Which Injuries Have Been Linked to 3M Combat Arms Earplugs?
3M Combat Arms Earplugs have been linked to the following types of injury:
- (i) permanent hearing loss
- (ii) tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- (iii) loss of balance caused by damage to the inner ear
Active-duty and retired servicemen and women who have been diagnosed with any of the above injuries should contact our lawyers immediately at (866) 588-0600.
What Allegations Were Brought Against 3M Over Military Earplugs?
The U.S. Justice Department filed its lawsuit against 3M under the False Claims Act. It alleged that the military contractor sold defective 3M combat earplugs to the Department of Defense despite knowing that the devices failed to meet safety standards.
Furthermore, 3M was accused of altering study results over its CAEv2 Combat Arms Earplugs. Veterans filing complaints alleged that during testing, 3M researchers couldn’t get the earplugs to block 22-decibel level noise.
They subsequently found that they could reach the 22-decibel level if they folded back part of the earplug. 3M was also accused of failing to give these instructions to the U.S. military.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit Against 3M?
The time you have left to file a 3M Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuit depends on a variety of factors that are unique to your case. This is why you must consult with an Arizona product liability lawyer immediately if you believe your ears may have been damaged by defective 3M Earplugs.
Can Veterans Who Already Claim VA Disability File an Earplug Lawsuit Against 3M?
Many U.S. veterans who developed hearing loss receive partial disability and hearing aids from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Regardless, they may still be entitled to file a lawsuit against 3M for their hearing loss from the use of the company's Combat Arms earplugs. This is why you should seek legal counsel immediately if you believe your hearing loss was caused by the use of faulty earplugs.
What to do if You've Been Injured by 3M Earplugs
Take the following steps if you sustained hearing loss, tinnitus, or loss of balance after wearing 3M Combat Arms Earplugs in the military anytime between 2003 and 2015:
1. See Your Doctor - First and foremost, you should contact your doctor or healthcare provider promptly. You will need to be officially diagnosed with one or more of the injuries listed above to qualify for compensation. If you have previously been diagnosed with any of those conditions, you will need your doctor's opinion on whether your injury could have been caused by exposure to loud sounds during your military service.
2. Take Notes - Write down as many specifics as you can recall: When did you wear earplugs in the military? Where were you stationed and what was your assignment? Were you exposed to loud sounds? These are all important details you will need to discuss with your attorney.
3. Contact an Experienced Attorney - To win a lawsuit against 3M, you will need to hire an attorney. You should schedule a free consultation with an Arizona product liability attorney immediately.
Get a Free Arizona 3M Earplug Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Attorneys
The Product Liability Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is an experienced team of plaintiffs' lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in 3M Ear Plug lawsuits. We handle individual litigation nationwide and accept personal injury legal action in Arizona and all 50 states.
Free Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you suffered hearing damage, ear damage, or other side effects after using 3M earplugs, you should contact our law firm immediately using the contact form below. You may be entitled to financial compensation by filing a Lawsuit and our mass tort law firm can help.