How to Qualify for the 3M Earplug Lawsuits
While many military service members may already receive disability for hearing loss and tinnitus, they can also qualify for 3M earplug lawsuits if they meet certain criteria.
You may qualify to file a 3M earplug lawsuit if you…
- Served in the military between 2003-2015;
- Were issued 3M earplugs during service and
- Now suffer from permanent hearing loss or tinnitus
Although no amount is guaranteed in these suits, you may receive compensation for medical treatment you received connected to the hearing damage and hearing loss, such as:
- Compensation for past or expected medical expenses including:
- Visits to specialists; laboratory tests performed; and prescriptions, occupational and mental therapy received as a result of hearing damage
- Compensation for past or future hearing aids you may need to use
- Past or future loss of income as a result of this hearing issue
- Loss of enjoyment of life due to hearing loss or hearing damage
Facts of the 3M CAEV2 Earplugs Lawsuits
Recent news of a $9.1 million settlement between the federal government and manufacturer 3M has prompted others to examine the Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEV2) the company produced as a defective product.
The suit, which came to light following a whistleblower action, alleged 3M knowingly sold the defective earplugs to the U.S. military.
The dual-ended earplugs had two different colored ends—one green and one yellow—to indicate to the wearer different levels of noise protection they can expect from the product.
The two different modes the earplugs were supposed to provide protection against included:
- Weapons-Fire mode – Allowed lower level sound through and restricted high-level impulse noise such as gunfire
- Closed/Constant Protection mode – Restricted all sound such as loud vehicles or aircraft
Although the earplugs could be used while in combat situations, the 3M CAEV2 earplugs were also issued to active service members not deployed and training at duty stations around the world.
However, despite the claims that the earplugs could provide adequate protection, the earplugs were too short and did not provide the expected levels of protection. Moreover, the earplugs would loosen in the wearer’s ear, putting them at risk for hearing damage during usage.
With a verdict filed in July 2018, the company was ordered to pay the federal government $9.1 million.
However, due to the nature of the case being filed under the False Claims Act, the settlement funds were allocated towards the government’s spending on the earplugs. However, the settlement did not benefit military personnel directly affected by the defective earplugs.
New Lawsuits for Defective 3M Earplugs
New lawsuits being filed against 3M Company allege that military service members experienced hearing loss, hearing damage, and other related symptoms as a result of using the defective earplugs.
Although many jobs require ear protection, military personnel are often exposed to sounds that exceed the standards the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) deems as safe.
115 decibels for less than 15 minutes is the maximum safe level by OSHA standards; however, military personnel often experience sounds ranging from 103 to 184 decibels for long intervals of time, so hearing protection is a must.
According to information provided by 3M Company, the CAEV2 earplugs were supposed to suppress sounds up to 190 decibels when fitted properly. Unfortunately for many military service members, the earplugs have been deemed unsuitable for this usage and defective, exposing them to unsafe decibels of sound during their service.
Contact Our 3M Military Earplugs Lawsuits Attorneys
If you or a loved one served in the military 2003-2015 and have experienced hearing loss as a result of defective earplugs being issued, you may seek compensation from 3M Company for damages. Contact The Brad Hendricks Law Firm today to learn how our defective products attorneys can help.