Do you qualify to participate in a 3M earplug lawsuit? Thousands of individuals who served in the U.S. military from 2003 to 2015 were issued 3M Combat Arms Earplugs. These servicemen and women wore them as instructed, in combat, around bombs and minefields, surrounded by aircraft and all manner of constant, deafening noises. Yet because those earplugs didn’t work as promised, these soldiers now suffer complete or partial hearing loss, tinnitus, or other auditory injuries.
The defective earplug is the now-discontinued green and yellow Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2). They were standard-issued protection equipment provided over 12 years to U.S. servicemen and women under a government contract with the 3M Company.
Hundreds of thousands of veterans have taken legal action against 3M for earplug-related hearing loss, with more to come. Pilots, aircraft support personnel, artillery soldiers, mechanics, engineers, and infantry are just some examples of victims.
If you have a similar story, you may have a potential claim for monetary compensation and damages in litigation against 3M.
Call for a Free 3M Earplug Lawsuit Evaluation
Marc Whitehead & Associates represents 3M military earplug lawsuits nationwide. Contact us if you used these earplugs while actively serving in United States Armed Forces. We will thoroughly review your case; if you qualify, we will help you with every aspect of filing a lawsuit against 3M, the company that designed, manufactured, and knowingly marketed the defective product to America’s soldiers. At Marc Whitehead & Associates, we will take care of everything for you. The moment you become our client, we set out to remove your burden.
This article summarizes the hearing damage caused by the flawed earplugs and which veterans and active military service members may qualify for compensation. We discuss how to file a product liability lawsuit against 3M. We also explain the compensation you may be entitled to and how our national product liability attorneys can help.
3M is accused of violating the “False Claims Act” by selling defective products, falsifying test results, and not disclosing the design defect.
Because so many people are involved, legal proceedings have been brought as a mass tort multidistrict litigation (MDL) against 3M. The purpose of an MDL is to centralize cases with similar facts against the same defendant for pre-trial proceedings. As a plaintiff, you would have an individual 3M earplug lawsuit for damages unique to your case. You would receive your own separate trial.
Hearing damage claims caused by defective earplugs
What was the defect with the 3M earplugs? When inserted in the ear, they were supposed to create a seal. Serious design flaws prevented them from working when used as instructed. The earplug stems were too short and loosened in users’ ears, thus failing to provide noise cancellation.
- Hearing loss: 3M’s defective earplugs have been shown to lead to irreversible hearing loss and deafness
- Tinnitus: Symptoms of tinnitus include buzzing, ringing, roaring, high-pitched whistle, or hissing in the ears and head when no actual sounds are present. Unfortunately, there is no cure for tinnitus, and victims generally must self-manage their condition.
- Related auditory injuries: Tinnitus often leads to other debilitating symptoms like depression, anxiety, insomnia, loss of balance, and migraine headaches.
Did 3M know about the defects in their earplugs?
3M knew their earplugs did not meet military specifications and criteria. In addition, they knew the design defect allowed the earplugs to come loose while implanted. Still, 3M promoted the earplugs to the U.S. Government as having excellent Noise Reduction Ratings.
In 2016, the U.S. Government filed a Qui Tam (whistleblower) lawsuit against 3M, arguing it sold the defective earplugs to the U.S. Defense Department without revealing this defect. On July 26, 2018, 3M settled these allegations – without admitting fault – agreeing to pay a total of $9.1 million to resolve the allegations.
As stated in a July 2018 press release, the U.S. Department of Justice revealed that “3M Company knowingly sold the dual-ended Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) to the United States military without disclosing the defects that hampered the effectiveness of the hearing protection device.” The Department of Justice found neither end functioned as 3M claimed.
It is well-known how highly prone our armed forces are to hearing loss and tinnitus as they are constantly exposed to extreme noises and sounds of continuous gunfire, explosions, mortars, I.E.D.s, helicopters, machinery, intense combat, and more.
It is unconscionable that a manufacturer would supply our soldiers with knowingly defective equipment. A 3M earplug lawsuit can help military personnel recover:
- Medical expenses
- Costs of assistive devices (such as hearing aids)
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering damages
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages
The 2016 complaint against 3M earplugs can be found here: United States ex rel. Moldex-Metric v. 3M Company, Case No. 3:16-cv-1533-MBS (D.S.C.).
Can I file a hearing loss lawsuit against 3M?
Past and present service members must meet specific criteria. You must have:
- been diagnosed with full or partial hearing loss, tinnitus, or other auditory injuries
- actively served in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015
- worn the dual-ended green and yellow CAEv2 earplugs during your service
- been exposed to loud sounds/noises while actively serving
- been honorably discharged, if a veteran
3M earplugs were issued to all branches of the U.S. military in foreign conflicts, including:
- The War in Afghanistan
- The Iraq War
- The war in North-West Pakistan
- The War in Somalia
- Operation Ocean Shield in the Indian Ocean
- American-led intervention in Libya
- American-led intervention in Iraq
- American-led Intervention in Syria
- Yemeni Civil War
If you have any questions about your eligibility, please do not hesitate to contact a product liability attorney at Marc Whitehead & Associates for answers.
Do I need to be active service to file a lawsuit?
No. Veterans and current service members who served in the U.S. military when the CAEv2 earplugs were used are eligible.
If you are a civilian contractor who used these earplugs, you may also qualify to bring a 3M earplug lawsuit for related hearing damage.
How Disability Denials can help
Marc Whitehead & Associates is a national law firm in matters of product liability law, disability law, personal injury law, and veterans’ benefits. We are here to stand up for the rights of our nation’s finest and hold 3M accountable.
Marc Whitehead & Associates will give your case the attention it deserves and answer all of your questions. Our initial consultation regarding your 3M earplug lawsuit is entirely free.
Take action now to protect your rights. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Marc Whitehead & Associates today to learn more.