What's the Problem with Defective 3M Earplugs?
Defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs have been shown to pose a risk to the hearing health of U.S. military service members who may be exposed to dangerous levels of noise from gunfire, aircraft, tanks, heavy equipment, or roadside bombs. These loud noises may cause permanent hearing loss or deafness.
In addition to the risk of hearing loss or deafness, defective 3M earplugs may increase the risk of developing tinnitus, which is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. Although tinnitus is typically considered a symptom of an underlying hearing condition, the condition can be frustrating, distracting, or even debilitating to sufferers.
Related Article: 3M Hearing Protection Lawsuit
How Do 3M Earplugs Cause Tinnitus?
Lawsuits allege that 3M had sold defective Combat Arms Earplugs to the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015. The earplugs could loosen enough to allow damaging sound levels to enter the ear canal. This caused hearing loss and tinnitus, according to the lawsuits.
Is the 3M Hearing Loss Lawsuit Real?
Yes. Hundreds of thousands of military service members and veterans have sued 3M, alleging the company's earplugs were defective and led to hearing damage from loud sounds on the battlefield or during training exercises. These complaints have been centralized in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of Florida before Judge M. Casey Rogers.
The litigation is 3M Prod. Liab. Lit., MDL No. 2885 – Master Docket No. 3:19-MD-2885.
Which Branches of the Military Used Defective 3M Earplugs?
The potentially defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs (also known as the 3M CAEv2) were used by all branches of the United States Armed Forces, including the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard, and Coast Guard.
- How to Qualify for a 3M Lawsuit?
- How Many Lawsuits Have Been Filed?
- How Long Will the Settlement Take?
See all related product liability lawsuits we've taken on.
How Many 3M Bellwether Trials Were There?
As a general rule, the bigger the litigation the more bellwether trials you can expect. The 3M Combat Arms Earplugs MDL is the largest mass tort MDL ever with nearly 300,000 cases. A total of 16 lawsuits involving 19 plaintiffs have gone to trial in the 3M Combat Arms Earplug litigation. The plaintiffs won 10 of the bellwether trials and the total damages awarded against 3M were about $300 million.
How Long Will the 3M Litigation Take to Settle?
There is no set or “typical” timeline for a mass tort claim. The claims process may resolve quickly while other cases may require several years of investigation, interviewing expert witnesses, negotiation, and litigation.
Related Article: When Will the 3M Earplug Case Be Resolved?