Recent whistleblower allegations revealed that a Minnesota-based defense contractor, 3M, sold defective Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) to the United States military. These earplugs were standard issue to service members from 2003 to 2015.
As a result of wearing these defective earplugs, many of our valued service members have suffered tinnitus, hearing loss, and other impairments.
When big corporations profit off our government by selling defective products, they should be held accountable. When those defective products hurt the brave men and women who are serving our country, the parties responsible owe them significant compensation for the harm they’ve suffered.
Affected veterans have the right to seek justice and fair compensation. This could help to cover your medical expenses and other damages. If you have been injured by defective 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms earplugs, contact the trial lawyers at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., to discuss your rights and options during a free consultation.
Defective Earplugs Sold to Military
The defective earplugs involved in the recent military settlement are the 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs. These earplugs were issued to military service members for hearing protection during combat and training.
It is possible that 3M knew about the poor performance of their products for years while continuing to sell them to the U.S. government and allowing soldiers to wear them in combat settings.
What Was Wrong With the 3M Military Earplugs?
According to the United States Department of Justice, 3M knowingly sold defective earplugs to the U.S. military.
The 3M Dual-Ended Combat Earplug features two insertion plugs so that they could be used from either end. However, the defective element of this version of earplug resulted in the unit being too short to properly protect some users’ ears. The earplug allowed harmful levels of decibels to reach and harm the hearing of users who believed they were protected. As a result, military members who were issued these earplugs may have suffered hearing loss.
In 2018, 3M admitted to knowing about the defects present in the earplugs. 3M settled with the U.S. Department of Justice for $9.1 million rather than going through a potentially more costly litigation process.
The $9.1 million was paid to the U.S. government in admission of the various tactics that 3M used to cover up the defect during product testing and the fact that the company proceeded to knowingly sell the flawed product to the military anyway.
These faulty 3M earplugs have caused hearing loss and damage to users including:
- Tinnitus – Tinnitus is a condition that results in a ringing, clicking, or hissing sound audible to the sufferer when no sound is actually present. Tinnitus is usually caused by hearing damage, but can also result from ear infections, brain damage, and emotional stress.
- Sensorineural Hearing Loss – This is the most common type of hearing loss and can be categorized from mild to profound, and even total loss in some cases.
It is important to note that any type of hearing problems you may have suffered while you thought your ears were protected by 3M Dual-Ended Combat Earplugs is unacceptable. An experienced product liability attorney from Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., can review the specifics of your case and help you get the relief you need.
What Are My Rights If I Have Been Affected by Defective Military Earplugs?
If you suffer from any type of hearing damage or loss as a result of wearing defective 3M earplugs, you may be eligible for compensation. It is your right to initiate a legal claim against the company that caused you harm while you were risking your life in defense of our country.
A product liability claim could help you get the compensation that you deserve if you were harmed by a defective or dangerous product. There are two main types of product defect lawsuits:
- Design Defects – A design defect means that a product is inherently flawed due to the way it was designed. A design defect will affect every version of a product, no matter where it was manufactured.
- Manufacturing Defects – These defects are a result of the way a product was produced. Since companies may manufacture multiple batches of products, not all versions of the product may be affected by a manufacturing defect.
The 3M earplugs appear to be in the category of a design defect, but a thorough review of this situation may reveal additional important evidence. At Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., our thorough and aggressive attorneys will conduct an in-depth investigation of your case and we will help you get the justice you deserve.
How Can Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., Help Me with my Defective Earplugs Military Lawsuit?
When you go up against a big corporation, like a government defense contractor, it’s always a good idea to hire an experienced lawyer to represent you. Companies like 3M and their legal counsel will likely fight to minimize their liability and avoid paying as much as possible for defective earplug claims.
However, having a Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., attorney by your side will give you peace of mind that you have a dedicated, experienced team of trial lawyers working to hold the manufacturer accountable and pursue the maximum compensation possible for your claim.
If you have experienced hearing problems due to using 3M earplugs, please contact Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., now. Your initial consultation is completely free, and you pay us nothing unless we win your case.