Soldiers and military veterans injured by defective 3M earplugs may be eligible for compensation as part of a growing investigation by Jones Ward and other law firms.
3M agreed to pay the federal government more than $9 million to resolve claims that the Minnesota company knowingly sold the Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs, Version 2 to the U.S. military without disclosing defects that hampered the effectiveness of the plugs. The ear plugs were originally manufactured by Aearo Technologies, which was acquired by 3M in 2008. According to legal filings, Aearo was aware of the ear plug’s defects as early as 2000, years before it and 3M became the provider of selective attenuation ear plugs to the military. The government claimed that 3M, and its predecessor, Aearo Technologies, Inc., knew the Combat Arms™ Earplugs v2 were too short to be properly inserted into soldiers’ ears and that the ear plugs could loosen and perform poorly for certain users, which could result in permanent hearing damage. It was also alleged in the lawsuit that this design defect was known to 3M but was not disclosed to the Department of Defense and that 3M may have manipulated test results to make it appear the ear plugs met government standards.
The 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) were designed for military use and used by thousands of servicemen and servicewomen deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq from 2003-2015. Due to the alleged design flaw, military service members and veterans could have been subjected to dangerous noise levels during training and in combat. Unsafe sound levels can result in serious and permanent effects including partial or total hearing loss, or tinnitus, a ringing in the ears. Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions suffered by active duty and former servicemen and servicewoman. Tinnitus, which can be debilitating, is just as prevalent. Tinnitus causes ringing of the ears. According to a recent study released by the VA Portland Healthcare System, last year there were over 1.6 million veterans seeking medical care for chronic tinnitus.
If you or a loved one were in the military between the years of 2003-2015 and have used 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs, Version 2 and have experienced hearing loss, tinnitus, or a ringing in your ears, please contact the injury lawyers at Jones Ward PLC. The lawyers at Jones Ward PLC offer a free, no-obligation evaluation of your potential lawsuit. Do not hesitate to speak to our team of lawyers, we have handled a wide variety of drug and product liability cases and are completely dedicated to helping our clients.