What's the Problem With 3M Combat Arms Earplugs?
3M Combat Arms CAEv2 Earplugs were designed with dual-ends for use in 2 different ways: with 1 side providing full sound blockage like normal earplugs and the other side providing protection against loud noises while simultaneously allowing the wearer to hear softer sounds like conversations and enemies approaching.
The problem is that the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs were designed too short for proper insertion into the user's ear canal. This poor fit caused them to loosen in the user's ears without them realizing it, rendering them largely ineffective for hearing protection.
Making matters worse, a whistleblower lawsuit revealed that 3M was aware of the earplugs’ defective design as early as 2000, but the company failed to warn the military. As a result, 3M agreed to pay a $9.1 million settlement to the U.S. Government in July 2018.
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3M Earplug Injuries
Military service members have reported the following injuries after using defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs:
- Hearing loss
- Tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears)
- Permanent hearing damage, such as loss of high-frequency sounds
- Need for hearing aids
- Loss of balance (vertigo)
What are the Treatment Options for Hearing Loss?
If you developed any of the above conditions after using 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, you should consult a physician immediately. Depending on how serious your condition is, your doctor may recommend surgery, hearing aids, or cochlear implants. You may also undergo therapy to cope with the effects of your injury.
Related Article: 3M Hearing Protection Lawsuit
Who was Affected by the Defective Military Earplugs?
Any current military service members or veterans who were issued 3M Combat Arms Earplugs could have potentially been injured by hearing-related complications. 3M supplied defective earplugs to the military from 2003 to 2015. Troops who served in Afghanistan and Iraq during this time likely used these Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2).
3M Earplug Litigation Grows to Become the Biggest in U.S. History
Since Congress created the multidistrict litigation (MDL) system in 1968, no litigation has grown as big as the one over 3M Combat Arms Earplugs.
With more than 300,000 lawsuits pending in the Northern District of Florida, the MDL has grown to be the largest mass tort in history, surpassing even the asbestos litigation, in just 2 years. The 3M Earplug claims dwarf the next largest MDL, over Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products, which involves about 30,000 cases, and accounts for the majority of cumulative MDL cases, from 750,000 to more than 1 million, between 2020 and 2021.
Plaintiffs in the 3M lawsuits are U.S. military veterans and service members who claim that they developed hearing loss and/or tinnitus from Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2), which they say were defective.
The MDL is: In re 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, No. 19-md-2885.
Read Also: How to Qualify for a 3M Lawsuit?
Compensation in 3M Earplug Lawsuits
The lawyers at Schmidt & Clark know how serious hearing loss can be for our veterans. We are committed to standing up for the rights of our veterans to receive compensation to assist with:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
These are just a few of the damages veterans might seek in a defective 3M Earplug Lawsuit. However, each injured veteran will likely have their own set of challenges and expenses caused by the faulty 3M Earplugs.
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