Have you or a loved one suffered hearing loss and/or tinnitus as a result of defective earplugs?
You may be owed compensation.
What are 3M Earplug Lawsuits About?
Thousands of United States military soldiers, past and present, may be eligible to receive compensation for damages caused as a result of faulty 3M earplugs used in training and in the field.
Military members are frequently exposed to excessively loud noises that can damage their eardrums. Explosives, gunfire, heavy machinery, aircrafts, artillery, and more all produce noise in excess of safe levels. Repeated exposure can lead to hearing loss, among other conditions.
In order to protect soldiers against such noise, ear protection is required. The military issued soldiers protective gear in the form of nonlinear, dual-ended Combat Arms Earplug Version 2 (known as “CAEv2”). These earplugs, developed by Aearo Technologies, and later sold to 3M, were supposed to provide adequate protection to U.S. military service members.
What Went Wrong with 3M Combat Arms Earplugs?
Several design flaws led to engineering shortfalls, resulting in products that did not perform as intended. The original design of the earplugs was too small to fit the Army-issued carrying case, and made wearing a helmet difficult.
In order to address this, 3M modified the design by shortening the earplugs, leading to a better fit inside of helmets, but a deficit in protection. This shorter design no longer fit deep enough in the ear to provide proper protection, resulting in damage to soldier’s hearing.
Worse Yet, 3M Was Aware that the Earplugs were Defective
Despite the vast majority of soldiers being unprotected, 3M failed to disclose its shortfall to the military. Arguably, this decision was fueled by greed, with 3M pricing each earplug at a, egregious 797% markup on the cost of production.
How Much Compensation Are Military Veterans Owed from a 3M Lawsuit?
Every case is unique. However, past lawsuits on record have resulted in compensation ranging between $25,000-$300,000 per individual, although settlements may pay out less. How much each veteran may obtain will depend largely on the severity of hearing loss, and other ancillary damages or medical issues as a result. Generally speaking, those suffering from hearing loss vs. tinnitus only, may be awarded higher compensation.
Who Qualifies for a 3M Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuit?
Any individual who is a current military service member or veteran, who was issued and used 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs while serving the U.S. Armed Forces, and who has suffered severe hearing impairment or hearing loss, may be eligible to pursue compensation.
Those with Claims Meeting the Following Criteria May Qualify:
- Served in the military between 2003-2015
- Used military-issued earplugs during their term of service
- Were exposed to loud noises during their service
- Have been diagnosed with hearing loss, impairment, and/or tinnitus
However, a statute of limitations does apply. Anyone who feels like they may qualify or who has questions is encouraged to reach out to our law firm as soon as possible to avoid missing critical deadlines.