3M Earplug Class Action Lawsuit: A Breakdown

In the recent 3M earplug class-action lawsuit, hundreds of military members filed lawsuits against a government-contracted manufacturer of defective combat earplugs. The lawsuit alleges that 3M, a Minnesota-based company, failed to provide earplugs that properly blocked out loud noises. It also alleges that the company did not provide any direction for proper use of the combat earplugs. As a result, military servicemen and women suffered from hearing loss, tinnitus and other symptoms. If you believe that the defective earplugs affected you, you may have grounds for joining the 3M earplug class-action lawsuit.

Read on to learn more about the 3M earplug lawsuit and find out if you are eligible to seek compensation.

What is the 3M earplug lawsuit all about?

3M manufactured Combat Arms Earplugs for military use. Thousands of servicemen and women deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 to 2015 used these earplugs. The members of the military who used the Combat Arms Earplugs manufactured by 3M Company may have suffered several hearing-related problems. These problems include hearing loss, tinnitus, noise-induced deafness, and others. These problems occurred due to a design defect that allows the earplugs to gradually loosen in the ear until they fail to provide the proper noise cancellation for the user. 

Military servicemen and women who file a combat earplugs lawsuit against 3M can expect to recover compensation for the following. 

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Temporary or permanent disability
  • Inability to work
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Punitive damages
  • Loss of consortium

A quick overview of combat earplugs & military hearing loss claims

Combat earplugs are specially designed earplugs used by the military. Specifically, they protect active military members from noises like weapons fire and explosions, as well as noise from aircrafts and armored vehicles, which could damage their hearing. 

According to the 3M website, “Combat Arms Earplugs (CAE) meet the demanding hearing protection needs of the armed forces. In the Open/Weapons Fire mode, CAE allows greater situational awareness than a common foam earplug yet helps attenuate dangerous peak levels with a filter element that reacts quickly to provide increased protection. In the Closed/Constant Protection mode, CAE protects against high-level steady noises like those in tracked vehicles and air transport.” Despite these claims, it has been found that combat earplugs designed by 3M may contain a defect that puts users at risk for hearing loss, tinnitus and other serious injuries. The specific product causing these problems is 3M’s dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2). According to the lawsuit, Aearo Technologies, Inc., acquired by 3M in 2008, was aware of the issue with the combat earplugs as early as 2000.

What is the latest 3M earplug lawsuit update?

A lawsuit verdict from July of 2018 found 3M Company guilty of knowingly selling defective combat arms earplugs (CAEv2) to the United States military. It also states that the company did so without disclosing potential issues, such as developing hearing loss and/or tinnitus. 

As a result, 3M had to pay $9.1 million in a False Claims Act lawsuit for failing to disclose this design defect. This verdict helped the affected recover compensation and achieve peace of mind. 

To recover compensation on behalf of the injured military servicemen, attorneys are forming individual 3M combat earplugs lawsuits. These lawsuits are specific to personal experience and injuries. Financial compensation could cover medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the alleged defective combat arms earplugs.

Are you eligible for compensation from the 3M earplug lawsuit?

You may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. As a result, if the following two stipulations apply to you, contact a lawyer to learn more.

  • You served in any branch of the military, including Reserves and National Guard, between the years of 2003 and 2015.
  • You suffered tinnitus or hearing loss possibly caused by defective combat earplugs.

More specifically, to join in the lawsuit, potential plaintiffs must do a few things. They must hold a doctor’s diagnosis of tinnitus at or around the time of discharge from the military. In addition, they must suffer from hearing loss resulting in an impairment rating with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These circumstances are only relevant and apply to the lawsuit in the years of 2003 and 2015. Eligible servicemen and women may be entitled to compensation for their hearing loss.

To discuss your options with a trained legal liability professional, fill out our 3M earplug lawsuit claim form. After filling out this case review form, a lawyer will contact you to discuss your eligibility and your legal options. 

The Right Advocate Can Help You

Educating yourself on the 3M earplug class action lawsuit is the first step to seek the compensation you deserve. For funding and consulting in combat earplugs lawsuits, reach out to our experienced team plaintiff advocates. We can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and guide you through the litigation process.