Earplugs are considered as essential as helmets and eye protection to a soldier in the US military. Noises in the field such as explosions, aircraft, and automatic gunfire can be twice as loud as the level known to cause hearing loss.
3M earplug lawsuit
After the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001, the military required all soldiers to wear 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) throughout their training and during combat duty. These 3M earplugs are now under investigation after a mass tort lawsuit was filed in April 2019.
The case asserts both that the 3M earplugs are defective and that manufacturers had been aware of the faulty design since 2000 but continued their production despite this. These earplugs were created with two different ends, one with a complete sound-canceling effect and the other blocking most ambient noise. The lawsuit claims that the stem connecting these dual ends was too short and therefore didn’t provide a protective seal, leading to a variety of hearing damages.
In April 2020, hundreds of pages of documents were newly unsealed and added as evidence to the 3M earplug lawsuits. These recently revealed files show that 3M employees had joked about the huge profit margins the company would get from the US Department of Defense. There is also evidence of employees dismissing any considerations of honesty in regards to a potentially defective product.
3M Earplugs and Hearing Loss
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, hearing loss is one of the most prevalent service-related disabilities in US veterans, with about 60% reporting hearing loss after leaving the military. It can be caused both by a single exposure to an intensely loud noise, such as a large explosion, and continuous exposure, such as gunfire or aircraft.
With hearing loss already a big problem in the veteran community, it is imperative that our service members are offered every safeguard possible.
These members of the military were issued 3M earplugs with the expectation that they would be reliable protection. However, the earplugs did not create a proper seal to block noise, rendering them essentially useless.
Joseph Junk, one veteran filing a lawsuit who served in the Army, expressed his frustration, stating “We’ve just been told that, ‘This is the equipment you get and it’s the best out there. It’s gonna save your hearing. Later on, we found out that it didn’t really protect our hearing much at all.”
How we can help you
If you or a loved one used 3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) as a service member in the United States military and suffered hearing damage, including hearing loss, you may be eligible for compensation. Our 3M earplug attorneys have extensive experience dealing with mass tort cases, such as this. Contact Kwartler Manus, LLC today to learn your rights.
You may be eligible to join the 3M earplug lawsuit if you:
Served in the U.S. military any time from 2003 - 2015
Used 3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) during that time
Suffer from hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
The defective 3M earplugs were issued during combat training and in the following combat zones:
The Indian Ocean
If this sounds like you or someone you love, reach out to our attorneys online or by phone at (267) 214-8608 as soon as possible to receive the compensation you deserve, and bring justice to the group responsible for your hearing damage.