If you served in the military between 2003 and 2015 and have suffered tinnitus and/or hearing loss after using dual-sided earplugs issued by the military, you may be able to recover substantial compensation for your injuries. Hundreds of lawsuits are now underway against 3M Company, the military contractor that supplied the defective earplugs.
Although there was a settlement in which 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million, that money goes to the government, not to veterans and servicemembers who were harmed. In order to get paid for your unnecessary hearing loss, you must seek compensation directly from 3M through a defective product lawsuit.
An experienced product liability attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Tinnitus is a debilitating condition in which your never get peace from the constant ringing and other noises. It can lead to anxiety, depression, inability to sleep and inability to concentrate. People suffering with tinnitus often describe it as constant torture. Of course, the constant noise of tinnitus interferes with hearing as well. Tinnitus can affect your ability to do your job, your ability to interact with your family and friends, and your overall quality of life.
The defective earplugs are the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2). They are yellow and olive colored, dual-sided earplugs. They are the only dual sided earplugs used in the military. If you used dual-sided earplugs while serving, you used the CAEv2.
From 2003 to 2012, 3M was the exclusive supplier of earplugs to the U.S. military. CAEv2 earplugs were issued to service members from 2003 through 2015. Although 3M discontinued the earplugs, they were never recalled.
The defective earplugs failed to provide the hearing protection that 3M claimed they provided, leaving military personnel exposed to unnecessary hearing damage. 3M and Aearo Technologies are accused of knowing about the defect as early as 2000 and of manipulating test results so that the military would believe they met government standards and purchase them.
In 2003, auditory system injuries such as tinnitus and hearing loss were the third most common type of service-connected disability according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). But by 2017, tinnitus and hearing loss had become the top two.
3M Earplug Lawsuits
On April 3, 2019 more than 640 defective 3M earplug lawsuits were consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Florida. According to the lawsuits more than 800,000 veterans and service members suffer hearing damage.
If you are suffering from service-connected tinnitus or hearing loss, served between 2003 and 2105, and used the dual-sided 3M earplugs, you may be able to recover substantial compensation from 3M through a product liability lawsuit. Please schedule a free consultation with an experienced product liability attorney right away to learn more about your rights.