What are 3M Combat Arms Earplugs?
3M Combat Arms Earplugs are dual-sided earbuds that were created for the U.S. military. The purpose of the earplugs was to provide better hearing protection in outdoor exposures and greater situational awareness for users than traditional foam earplugs.
What's the Problem with 3M Earplugs?
An investigation by the Department of Defense revealed that the 3M earplugs did not form a tight enough seal when inserted into the ear canal. This defect caused loud sounds to slip into the ear without the user realizing it.
As a result, users eventually developed partial to total hearing loss, tinnitus, and/or loss of balance or equilibrium in the inner ear (vertigo). 3M did not provide proper instructions with the earplugs, and there were no warnings to indicate that the earplugs could fail.
This became the basis of the lawsuit against 3M; the company's failure to provide any warning to customers, along with the design defect in the Combat Arms Earplugs, would put 3M on the hook for liability.
Related Article: How to Qualify for a 3M Lawsuit?
How Many Veterans Used Defective 3M Earplugs?
From 2003 to 2015, 3M sold approximately 2.2 million earplugs to the United States military. During this time, 20% of active military, or about 1,562,190 soldiers were deployed to war zones overseas. As a result, over 1 million soldiers could have used defective 3M earplugs and not had their hearing adequately protected.
Related Article: How Much Money Are Veterans Getting for the 3M Lawsuit?
3M Earplug Product Liability Claims
To file a 3M Earplug product liability claim, you must be able to show that the manufacturer was negligent in some capacity. There are 3 potential points that can be shown in product liability claims, which are:
1. The product had a design defect that meant it would not work as intended;
2. The product had a manufacturing defect that would affect numerous batches, but it may not have been present in all items, or
3. The product did not have any warnings on its packaging or on the item itself to tell the user about any risks or hazards
3M Combat Arms Earplugs likely failed under both the 1st and 3rd points. The company should have designed its earplugs better and ensured that they did not have any defects, and there should have been a warning just in case. 3M was aware of the defect for years, yet the company neglected to include any hazard warnings on the product's labeling.
Steps to Take if You Were Injured by 3M Combat Arms Earplugs
If you used 3M earplugs and subsequently developed hearing loss or tinnitus, you should follow these steps to prepare for your lawsuit. First, you should consult a physician to evaluate the extent of the hearing damage you suffered. Keep your receipts and notes from the hospital visits, as well as anything that demonstrates the extent of your condition.
Next, make sure you keep the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs you used. In too many cases, people discard key evidence in product liability cases. If you throw away your earplugs, you will be unable to prove that there was a design flaw in the product.
Do not try to fix the earplugs yourself. It is unwise to attempt to modify the earplugs so that they better fit your ear. Our attorneys will hire expert witnesses to testify on your behalf.
Finally, you should be sure to contact a lawyer with experience filing product liability lawsuits. An attorney can ensure that all of the evidence is gathered together and submitted to the insurance company, and can get all of the details in order. Let a skilled attorney work on your 3M earplug claim for you so you can get the just compensation payout you deserve.