What's the Problem?
When you serve in the United States Military and put yourself at risk to protect the lives and freedom of others, you shouldn’t have to worry about hearing loss caused by faulty equipment. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened to thousands of servicemen and women, as the 3M Company sold millions of defective Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) from 2003 to 2015. The 3M Earplugs, which contained undisclosed defects, were standard issues for service members in overseas conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
What was the Defect in the 3M Earplugs?
The problem with 3M Combat Arms Earplugs is that a large flange blocks the sides and prevents the plugs from fully penetrating the wearer's ear canal. As a result of this defect, the earplugs fit loosely and fail to form an effective enough seal to block out loud sounds.
Related Article: 3M Earplug Lawsuit Update
3M Earplug Injuries
While each plaintiff's injuries from using the defective 3M earplugs affect their lives differently, several common medical conditions resulted from their use. They include (but are not limited to):
- Hearing Loss - When service members are not wearing adequate earplugs to protect their ears from explosions and gunfire, it can impair their ability to hear, and even cause partial or total hearing loss.
- Tinnitus - Constant or recurring ringing in the ears is called tinnitus, which can be caused by constant exposure to loud noises.
- Vertigo - The inner ear communicates with the brain to maintain physical balance. When the inner ear is damaged by loud noises, it may cause recurring and permanent balance problems known as vertigo.
Related Article: New Hampshire 3M Earplug Attorney
How Many Veterans Were Affected by Defective 3M Earplugs?
3M sent approximately 15,000 packages of its Combat Arms Earplugs to the military every year between 2003 and 2015, which means that millions of veterans may potentially come to suffer from hearing impairment. It is estimated that at least 800,000 Afghanistan and Iraq veterans have been injured by using defective earplugs.
Additionally, people who served during Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom are 4x more likely to develop hearing loss and tinnitus compared to the general population. To make matters worse, because there has been no formal recall issued for the 3M earplugs and because many vendors are not aware of a problem with the devices, they may still be supplied to service members, even today.
Related Article: How Much Money Are Veterans Getting for the 3M Lawsuit?
Am I Eligible to File a 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawsuit?
You may qualify to participate in a 3M combat arms earplugs lawsuit if:
- You served in any branch of the military at any time between 2003 and 2015; and
- You used 3M Combat Arms earplugs; and
- You were subsequently diagnosed with hearing loss, ringing ears (tinnitus), or other related symptoms
The lawyers at Schmidt & Clark are standing by to review your eligibility for the 3M combat arms earplugs lawsuit at no cost to you. We can help you understand the strength of your case in a free, no-obligation consultation.
Related Article: How to Qualify for a 3M Lawsuit?
3M Earplug Lawsuit Updates
There are currently more than 255,000 3M earplug lawsuits pending in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of Florida. Of the 16 bellwether trials that have reached court so far, 10 have been decided in favor of the plaintiffs, and 6 were in favor of 3M.
In July 2022, 3M announced that it would go to bankruptcy court in an attempt to settle the earplug claims. 3M's subsidiary, Aearo Technologies, has also filed for bankruptcy. The company believed it would help resolve the cases more quickly.
However, a judge denied the bankruptcy filing and issued a motion that temporarily prevented the litigation from moving forward. Settlement talks ensued, which were ultimately unsuccessful. In October 2022, 3M was granted permission to employ a quicker process to overturn the judgment.
It is expected that a global 3M Earplug settlement will be reached sometime in 2023.
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Get a Free 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 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.