3M Earplug Lawsuit FAQ
If you or a loved one served in the military and were issued 3M Combat Earplugs and subsequently sustained hearing loss, you may be entitled to compensation. Many of these standard-issue earplugs were found to be defective. At Cannon Law, the Colorado 3M Combat Earplug attorneys at our law firm want to discuss the most commonly asked questions about these cases.
What Earplugs Are Covered by the 3M Lawsuits?
Earplug lawsuits currently revolve around 3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2). These products were manufactured and used by military service members and contractors from 2001 to 2016. The earplugs were originally developed by Aearo Technologies, a company that was later acquired by 3M in April 2008.
What Is the Problem With 3M Combat Earplugs?
The 3M Combat Earplugs that are defective are known as “selective attenuation earplugs.” These devices consist of two inverted cones (one black and one yellow) that are connected by a short stem. The two ended design provides users with two levels of protection. One end works like traditional earplugs, while the other end is designed to allow the user to hear quieter sounds while blocking out louder noises. According to court documents, the stem that connects the two ends of these earplugs is too short and prevents the necessary hearing protection from sitting correctly in the wearer’s ear. This subsequently allows loud noises to slip past the device and cause hearing damage and hearing loss.
Who Can File a Claim in the 3M Cases?
The defective product released by 3M was manufactured and used by United States military service members in combat zones from 2001 to 2016. Some of the areas around the world in which these earplugs were used include:
- Indian Ocean area
Not only did military service members use these earplugs while on active duty, but it appears they also used them during training. This means that even service members who were not deployed in combat zones could have been exposed to ear damage due to the faulty earplugs.
How Was the 3M Design Defect Discovered?
News of the defective 3M earplugs broke In July 2018 after the company agreed to pay the US Department of Justice a settlement of $9.1 million, acknowledging that it knowingly sold defective earplugs to the US military. This settlement was part of a False Claims Act against 3M. The company did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
What Are the Symptoms in These Cases?
According to the US Department of Defense, the most common symptoms of combat-related hearing impairment problems include the following:
- A buzzing or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Difficult to hearing someone talking 3 feet away
- Difficulty understanding what others are saying
- Feeling a “fullness” in the ears after leaving a noisy area
What Kind of Compensation Is Available?
If you or a loved one served as military personnel or as a contractor and used standard-issue 3M Combat Earplugs, you may be entitled to significant compensation. At Cannon Law, we will thoroughly investigate your product liability claim and work to secure any compensation you are entitled to, including:
- Coverage of all hearing-loss medical bills
- Lost wages or compensation for lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages against 3M
When you need a Colorado 3M Combat Earplug attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 970-471-7170.