Veterans Hearing Loss Lawsuit
3M settles defective earplugs case with US Government for $9.1 million; where do servicemembers fall?
A recent settlement in a False Claims Act case has brought to light that 3M Company knowingly sold defective and dangerous earplugs to the United States Military for use by servicemembers. These earplugs did not work as intended or represented and can cause hearing loss or tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing in the ear). If you experience hearing loss from 3M Combat Earplugs, contact the attorneys at Price Armstrong.
THE COMBAT ARMS EARPLUG VERSION 2
Between the years 2003 and 2015, 3M provided its Version 2 Combat Arms Earplugs to the US government pursuant to a contract. These were two-sided earplugs with each side meant to perform a different protective function and prevent hearing loss or tinnitus. One side was meant to block out all sound no matter what the volume level. The other side of the Combat Arms Earplug was intended to block out sound of a certain volume level, common to combat and military operations, that are known to cause hearing loss or tinnitus. This includes gunfire, explosions, and other dangerously loud noises common in combat situations. The Combat Arms Earplugs were meant to incorporate a special shape that would function to block out these weaponry noises and the like while allowing servicemembers to communicate effectively on the battlefield. However, 3M and Aearo Technologies (its predecessor) knew that the earplugs were too short to accomplish either the complete sound blocking function or the function to block out gunfire and other damaging noises. Because they were too short, the Combat Arms Earplugs had the tendency to imperceptibly shift in the ear, causing them to become loose and not provide the necessary protection from gunfire and other combat noise. Aearo knew, as early as 2000, that this defects would cause the earplugs to be less effective than required.
Despite Aearo, and later 3M, knowing that these earplugs were defective and could be causing physical harm to military servicemembers using them in combat situations, the defects in the products were never disclosed to the government. 3M also failed to warn the users of the earplugs their true performance characteristics on packaging or warnings. 3M utilized testing and methodology that did not comply with accepted standards and practices. In short, Aearo and 3M made and sold a product they knew was defective. This product injured many of the military servicemembers that used it in the form of hearing loss and tinnitus.
MILITARY SERVICEMEMBERS LEFT BEHIND
Though 3M settled its False Claims Act case with the US government, there are still many servicemembers injured by these earplugs left in the lurch. Those who served our country and were injured by 3M’s wrongful conduct deserve justice. This is why the attorneys at Price Armstrong are investigating cases from veterans across the United States. If you are a servicemember who has hearing loss or tinnitus and used 3M’s Combat Arms Earplug Version 2, contact us for a no-cost, no-obligation, confidential consultation and we can provide you options in seeking compensation for your injuries.
CONTACT US FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION
If you have been affected by 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, contact the attorneys at Price Armstrong. We can help you seek justice and protect your rights throughout the process. Call us today at (205) 208-9588 for a free initial consultation and review of your case. Let us fight for you – call now!