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Are You Eligible to File a 3M Dual-Sided 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawsuit?
You may be eligible to file a Dual-Sided 3M Combat Arms Earplugs lawsuit if the following applies:
- Served in the U.S. Armed Forced between 2003 and 2015
- Were issued and used this brand of earplugs
- Have been diagnosed with significant hearing loss and/or tinnitus
- Hearing loss is full (complete) or partial (mild)
If you said yes to all of the above, you may be entitled to seek financial compensation for the hearing damage you have suffered. The lawsuit would involve a variety of issues, including the testing, design, marketing and sale of the earplugs. Contact a Morgan & Morgan Law Firm 3M Combat Arms Earplug lawsuit attorney to find out what your legal options are.
Defective 3M Combat Earplug Lawsuit
Dual-Sided 3M Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) made for the United States military turned out to be defective and damaged. As a result the product impaired the hearing of thousands of servicewomen and men between 2003 and 2015. Military service members had good reason to expect when deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq that the devices would work and not harm their hearing. The earplugs exposed more than 800,000 service members to hearing damage.
For 12 years U.S. military personnel were using an item ostensibly to protect their hearing and instead they received a defective product that was too short and loosened in the ear canal, cancelling any protective function it was supposed to have. The double jeopardy of this item was that when the earplug did loosen, it was not noticed, and the loud noise from artillery, bombs and gunfire was not dampened.
The 3M Company, and its predecessor, Aearo Technologies, knew about the defect as early as 2000, but did not do anything about it.
The two sided plugs are olive and yellow, with the olive side intended to block all sound and the yellow intended to let in quieter sounds, like combat teams exchanging tactical movement information. The plugs were supposedly capable of reducing very loud sounds (explosions).
3M Settled But Did Not Admit Liability
Although the 3M Company, the exclusive maker of the CAEv2, did settle a lawsuit in 2018 and agreed to pay $9.1 million to the U.S. military, they did not admit to any wrongdoing and no determination of wrongdoing was entered. The sale of defective products is a violation of the False Claims Act, put into place to combat fraud against the government. Up until it was discovered the earplugs were ineffective, 3M had allegedly falsified test results for the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2. This product was then given to soldiers who unknowingly risked full or partial hearing loss or tinnitus despite the fact that the buds were too short and the seal inside the user’s ear came loose while being worn.
The false certification of the product by 3M stated the earplugs were up to designated standards and boasted a noise reduction/protection rating (NPR) of 22 when in fact the earplugs had an average rating of 10.9, a rating far lower than the required standard.
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Our attorneys are dedicated to treating clients like family and making client needs a priority. Let us help you with your 3M earplug claim, start your free consultation now at (706) 548-7070 to learn more about how our team of experienced attorneys can help you through these challenging times.