False Claims Act Case Involving 3M
Earplugs manufactured by the 3M Company and used by military service members 2003 to 2015 have been found to be defective. These faulty products where standard issue and have led to significant hearing loss for many service members and contractors who used them in combat zones as well as during training. At Cannon Law, our Colorado 3M Combat Earplug attorneys want to discuss the False Claims Act against the company and how this influences lawsuits brought by those harmed by the defective products.
What is the False Claims Act?
The False Claims Act was America’s first whistleblower law, and is considered to provided the strongest protections for whistleblowers in the United States. The FCA allows for whistleblowers to come forward and be rewarded for confidentially disclosing fraud that results in a financial loss to the government.
How does this apply to the 3M Combat Earplugs lawsuit?
In July of 2018, The US Justice Department announced that 3M Company agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it supplied the US military with defective earplugs to be used by military service members and contractors in combat zones. Specifically, the allegations revolve around the fact that 3M knowingly sold “dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) to the United States military without disclosing defects that hampered the effectiveness of the hearing protection device.”
In this case, the whistleblower that came forward was Moldex-Metric, Inc., a competitor of 3M Company. The complaint alleged that 3M claimed that their Combat Earplugs met government testing requirements for use with military personnel while knowing that the product could have serious defects that increased the risk of hearing loss to users.
Per the terms of the False Claims Act, the whistleblower, in this case, was awarded $1,911,000 for coming forward with the information.
Unfortunately, none of the settlement money was allocated to the servicemen and women in the military or to contractors who sustained significant hearing damage as a result of the faulty 3M product. Anyone who believes they suffered hearing loss as a result of using these defective Combat Earplugs must file a lawsuit of their own against 3M Company.
Do individuals need an attorney for these cases?
Anyone injured as the result of a defective product should consider securing an attorney to help with their case. In most instances, victims in these cases do not have the resources necessary to thoroughly investigate their injuries and to receive full compensation for their losses.
However, a Colorado product liability attorney at Cannon Law will have the resources necessary to conduct a full investigation into the case, work with trusted medical professionals, and properly calculate a victim’s total losses.
What kind of compensation is available in these cases?
If you or a loved one served in the military from 2003 to 2015 and used standard issue combat earplugs, you may be entitled to compensation if you have sustained hearing damage. At Cannon Law, we want to thoroughly investigate your case to determine whether you are entitled to the following types of compensation:
- All medical bills related to the hearing loss
- Lost wages or lost earning capacity damages
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages
- Pain and suffering damages
- Possible punitive damages against 3M
If 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.