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Ohio 3M Earplug Lawyer

Anyone who puts on a United States military uniform deserves to be fully supported and protected with the best, most technologically advanced equipment. However, from 2003 to 2015, the 3M Company knowingly supplied U.S. soldiers with defective earplugs in combat situations, causing severe hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) in countless service members.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

Which 3M Earplugs Were Defective?

In July 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) won a whistleblower lawsuit against 3M over its Combat Arms™ CAEv2 Earplugs. As part of the settlement, 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million after an investigation uncovered that the company had supplied defective earplugs to thousands of service members in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other conflict zones from 2003 to 2015.

The investigation further revealed that 3M Combat Arms Earplugs were poorly designed in a manner that would cause them to “loosen in the wearer’s ear, imperceptibly to the wearer and even trained audiologists visually observing a wearer, thereby permitting damaging sounds to enter the ear canal by traveling around outside of the earplug.” The earplugs were essentially too short, preventing them from being placed deep enough in the ear canal to provide adequate protection.

The lawsuit was filed under the False Claims Act (FCA), a law that allows private citizens to sue on behalf of the government. The FCA is intended to punish individuals and entities who submit false claims to obtain government contracts. In this case, the lawsuit alleged that 3M was aware of the problems with the combat earplugs as early as 2000, yet failed to warn of the defects and continued selling them to the military until 2015.

Related Article3M Earplug Lawsuit Update

Who is Most At Risk for Hearing Loss Caused by 3M Earplugs?

For U.S. military service members who were deployed to conflict zones overseas, there are 2 significant threats to hearing loss:

  • Acute and sudden high-impact noises from gunshots and explosions
  • Ongoing loud engine noises, such as those emitted from tanks, helicopters, and other heavy machinery

Exposure to either of these types of noises without adequate ear protection can result in significant hearing loss and/or tinnitus.

Related Article3M Hearing Protection Lawsuit

Veterans Must Act Quickly to Recover Compensation

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus after wearing defective 3M Earplugs, you should act now to protect your legal rights. Anytime a company provides the military with defective equipment, they should be held responsible for the injuries that result.

However, it is important to understand that cases like these are complicated and extremely difficult to prosecute. There are almost always strict statutes of limitations for when you can file, and when the Federal Government is involved, the process becomes even more complicated.

The sooner you come forward with your injury, the sooner a solid case can be built on your behalf.

Read AlsoHow Much Money Are Veterans Getting for the 3M Lawsuit?

Has a 3M Earplug Class Action Been Filed?

The vast majority of 3M Earplug Lawsuits have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of Florida before Judge M. Casey Rodgers. In an MDL, each plaintiff receives a settlement based on the individual's injuries and damages they incurred.

The multidistrict litigation process is designed to streamline the processing of huge numbers of lawsuits against a corporation over a single defective product while preserving the details of each case. Our lawyers anticipate that plaintiffs will receive significant compensation payout based on their individual damages.

Will Filing a 3M Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuit Affect My VA Disability Compensation?

No. Your Veterans Administration (VA) disability compensation will not change for residents of Ohio who file a 3M Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuit. These complaints will be filed against the 3M Company, and not against the government or military. The purpose of filing a claim against 3M is to hold the company responsible for selling a defective product and putting countless veterans at risk of injury.

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