3M is facing tens of thousands of lawsuits from military veterans who have suffered hearing loss and other damages, even though they used the combat earplugs provided by the company. The lawsuits claim 3M knew the earplugs were defective but sold them to the military anyway, putting thousands of our brave men and women at risk of hearing impairment.
If you served in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015 and have been diagnosed with hearing impairment, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries. Our class action lawyers may be able to file a claim on your behalf. Our firm has obtained more than $300 million on behalf of our clients.* Partner James Lynch is a lifetime member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Our experienced attorneys offer a free consultation and represent clients for no upfront fees. That means we do not get paid until the end of the legal process.
Call today for a free consultation: (800) 518-0508
How do I Know if I Might Have a Case?
Veterans who used 3M Combat Arms Earplugs and suffered hearing loss or damage should strongly consider reaching out to a licensed attorney. You may have a valid legal claim, but we cannot know for sure until we meet with you to discuss your situation, including your:
- Specific diagnosis
- Date of diagnosis – was it during your service or after discharge
- Preexisting hearing problems you had before additional hearing damage from your service
Service members deployed to the following combat zones likely used the defective earplugs:
- Indian Ocean
Department of Defense contractors who worked between 2003 and 2015 may have also used defective 3M earplugs.
Another factor that may come into play is how you have responded to treatment. Is your hearing expected to get better? Is the damage permanent?
Give us a call today. We are here to help. Phone: (800) 518-0508
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney
As discussed above, it is important to discuss your claim with an attorney to determine if you have a valid case. You also need to review things with an attorney to determine the damages that may be available and the value of those damages.
An attorney can also explain the legal process, file the case on your behalf, keep you informed about what is happening, discuss settlement offers, and represent at trial.
Experienced legal representation is particularly important in defective product cases because they can be quite complex. The companies being sued also have a lot of money at their disposal and teams of attorneys looking to protect them from liability.
You need an attorney with the resources and know-how to build a strong case to counter the claims made by the defense. Lynch Law Firm, PC has handled many complex cases and secured compensation for victims.
What Type of Compensation Might Be Available?
If you suffered hearing loss or are experiencing tinnitus after using 3M earplugs between 2003 and 2015, you may be eligible to recover compensation for medical expenses related to treating these injuries such as the cost of hearing aids, surgery, prescription medications and other treatments.
If your injuries forced early retirement or hindered your ability to earn income, you may also be eligible to pursue compensation for lost wages or loss of future earning capacity.
Additionally, you may also be eligible for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering caused by the hearing loss. If 3M is found to have engaged in extreme or malicious negligence, victims may also be able to seek punitive damages to punish the at-fault party.
Lynch Law Firm, PC is ready to aggressively pursue the compensation you need to pay for the treatment of your injuries and other damages.
Background on 3M Earplug Claims
Between 2003 and 2015, 3M Combat Arms version 2 (CAEv2) earplugs were standard issue equipment for all branches of the military. These earplugs were meant to protect service members from hearing loss that may be caused by consistent exposure to loud noises like those of nearby aircraft, explosions and gunfire.
The earplugs were designed to provide two levels of protection, as they consisted of two inverted cones. One end of the cone was meant to be inserted into the ear canal to create an airtight seal and prevent you from hearing loud noises. The other end was meant to attenuate or lower the volume of sound before it reached the ear canal. This design was meant to allow users to still hear talking nearby.
3M marketed these earplugs as meeting the military’s requirements for ear protection for soldiers. The problem is the stem connecting both cones was too short, which meant the cone in the ear canal often did not go in far enough to be effective. That meant the earplugs did not filter out loud noises as intended, and service members were not aware of this.
Many service members suffered long-term hearing damage, including partial or complete hearing loss or tinnitus.
What did 3M Know About the Risk to Users?
A whistleblower complaint filed in 2016 alleged 3M and Aearo Technologies were aware of the defect in the Combat Arms Earplugs – the cone did not fit far enough into the ear canal to protect wearers from damage caused by loud noises.
The complaint alleged that the company hid this information to successfully negotiate a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense, therefore engaging in a conspiracy to defraud the government. The lawsuit revealed proof 3M falsified test results to help secure the contract, as the contract would not have been approved if the earplugs were out of compliance with military safety standards.
3M reached a $9.1 million settlement of the whistleblower claim but did not admit wrongdoing.
What Has Happened with the 3M Earplug Lawsuits that Have Been Filed?
3M is facing tens of thousands of claims from service members who suffered hearing damage that may have been caused by defective earplugs. As so many claims-making similar allegations have been filed, many were consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL). The 3M MDL had more than 229,000 pending cases as of mid-April 2021.
In March 2021, the first bellwether trial began in Florida. Bellwether trials are used to help both sides in an MDL determine how juries are likely to decide these kinds of cases. After a few bellwether trials, there might be a settlement of many of the other claims in the MDL.
If the first bellwether trial ends favorably for the victim, it could be a step toward the other claimants getting compensation. If you suffered a hearing injury after using 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, you may be able to join the MDL or file a separate case and pursue compensation.
Let Us Review Your Claim. Call Today
3M may have knowingly put members of the U.S. Armed Forces at increased risk for hearing loss, tinnitus or some level of hearing impairment. 3M may be responsible for damages suffered by veterans who used the company’s CAEv2 earplugs, which were standard issue between 2003 and 2015.
The licensed attorneys at the Lynch Law Firm, PC are prepared to review your claim and see how we may be able to help you pursue the compensation you need.
Call us today to discuss your claim in a free consultation with no obligation to take legal action. We do not get paid unless you do, so there is no risk to you.
Schedule your free evaluation today: (800) 518-0508
* Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.