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Have you suffered hearing issues because of defective 3M Combat Arms earplugs?

If you served in the military between 2003 and 2015 and were issued dual-ended 3M Combat Arms earplugs, you may qualify for compensation. A Department of Justice investigation has shown that these earplugs were defective. 3M’s failure to warn the public about this defect has caused thousands of service members to suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus, and loss of balance. Hearing loss and tinnitus are tied to depression, anxiety, and PTSD in veterans. Veterans who have permanent and disabling injuries from wearing the earplugs between 2003 and 2015 are holding 3M accountable for knowingly selling defective earplugs to the U.S. Government.  

Many affected veterans have filed 3M earplug lawsuits due to permanent disabilities. Our law firm is evaluating cases and seeking compensation for individuals who have experienced serious hearing loss after using the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) during deployment or training and were discharged before January 2015.

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Have you suffered hearing issues because of defective 3M Combat Arms earplugs?

If you served in the military between 2003 and 2015 and were issued dual-ended 3M Combat Arms earplugs, you may qualify for compensation. A Department of Justice investigation has shown that these earplugs were defective. 3M’s failure to warn the public about this defect has caused thousands of service members to suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus, and loss of balance. Hearing loss and tinnitus are tied to depression, anxiety, and PTSD in veterans. Veterans who have permanent and disabling injuries from wearing the earplugs between 2003 and 2015 are holding 3M accountable for knowingly selling defective earplugs to the U.S. Government.  

Many affected veterans are filing 3M earplug lawsuits due to permanent disabilities. Our law firm is evaluating cases and seeking compensation for individuals who have experienced serious hearing loss after using the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) during deployment or training and were discharged before January 2015.

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Why veterans are suing 3M over these defective earplugs

Between 2003 and 2015, the Combat ArmsTM earplugs were sold to the military by 3M. There is evidence that the Minnesota-based company designed the earplugs in a defective manner and failed to warn users of the defect or provide proper instructions for use. The earplugs allowed dangerously loud sounds to slip through because they failed to maintain a tight seal in veterans’ ears and fell out.

A whistleblower lawsuit was filed against 3M by the Department of Justice accusing 3M of knowingly selling defective earplugs to the military. The case alleged that 3M and its predecessor Aearo Technologies Inc. sold its Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) to the Defense Logistics Agency knowing that the earplugs were too short to be properly inserted into people’s ears. This prevented a proper fit and therefore did not provide appropriate protection from noise.

3M Combat Arms Earplugs, 3M earplug lawsuits, 3M combat arms earplug lawsuits, earplug lawsuits against 3M

3M falsified information to sell the Combat Arms earplugs to the military

The 3M earplug lawsuit filed by the Justice Department revealed that 3M falsified information so that they could sell the defective earplugs to the military. And although that lawsuit uncovered explosive evidence exposing 3M’s scheme, the claims within the settlement were allegations only. According to the Justice Department, there was no determination of liability made in that lawsuit.

That’s why we are representing service members and veterans (including people who served in the Reserves and the National Guard) who have been harmed by 3M’s actions. 3M made millions off your sacrifices. They need to be held responsible for their actions. You deserve justice.

The result of the lawsuit is proof that 3M defrauded the government out of millions and intentionally harmed thousands of soldiers in the process. Evidence uncovered in the whistleblower lawsuit includes:

  • Documents alleging that 3M employees knew about the earplug defects as early as 2000.
  • Testing conducted by 3M in January 2000, found that the earplugs were defective and the company falsified certification, stating that the testing complied with military standards.
  •  The company’s contract with the U.S. Government guaranteed the company would supply approximately 15,000 earplug packages each year. Each earplug package contained 50 pairs. That’s an estimated 9,000,000 pairs of defective earplugs sold to the military between 2003 and 2015.
  • 3M was guaranteed to make at least $9 million per year from selling the Combat Arms version 2 earplugs to the military.
  •  The company did not disclose the modified fitting instructions necessary to achieve appropriate hearing protection. Failing to provide this falsely overstated the amount of hearing protection afforded by the earplugs.
  • The earplugs were discontinued in 2015. 

Hearing loss and tinnitus are linked to PTSD, depression, and anxiety in veterans

There is a strong correlation between veterans with hearing problems and PTSD, depression, and anxiety. A review conducted by the Veterans Affairs Medical Center conducted a chart review of veterans suffering from hearing loss over a four year period. This data was then used to investigate the correlation between hearing loss and the presence of PTSD. They found that 34% of the veterans in the study diagnosed with tinnitus also carried a diagnosis of PTSD. 

Percentage of Veterans who have anxiety, depression, or both caused by tinnitus*

  • 79.1% of veterans have been diagnosed with anxiety caused by tinnitus. 
  • 59.3% of veterans have been diagnosed with depression caused by tinnitus.
  • 58.2% of veterans have been diagnosed with both anxiety and depression caused by tinnitus. 

Anxiety:

79.1%

Depression:

59.3%

Both:

58.2%

Most common disabilities for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are hearing loss and tinnitus

1
Veterans diagnosed with hearing loss
1
Veterans diagnosed with tinnitus

Military firepower and technology have gotten increasingly louder over time. The F-35 fighter aircraft is 4 times louder than an F-16 jet. The M9 pistol, new rail guns used by the Navy, and ballistics used by the Army are all signs that weaponry isn’t getting quieter. As an audiologist told NPR, the military has a loud problem and a quiet problem. Soldiers need to be able to hear sounds on the battlefield in order to survive, but they also need to be protected from the sounds of bombs and gunshots. That’s why the military bought the Combat Arms earplugs – they were supposed to amplify the quiet sounds and dampen the loud sounds.

Fast forward to 2019, and tinnitus and hearing loss are the two most common disabilities for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is clear the military’s solution to their hearing problem between 2003 and 2015 was a disaster. And 3M knew it would be but sold them millions of defective earplugs anyway.

For more than a decade the design defect has gone virtually undetected by the U.S. military and those who wore them. Now, hearing damage is now the largest ongoing medical cost the military incurs each year. This costs the VA more than $1 billion per year to treat hearing damage suffered by more than 900,000 servicemen. 

933,000 veterans have been diagnosed with hearing loss and 1,300,000 veterans have been diagnosed with tinnitus. 

If your military occupational specialty (MOS) is linked to hazardous noise exposure, you may have a claim

Many veterans have not yet gotten a hearing loss evaluation from the VA or gotten their hearing loss disability claim approved yet. Same goes for tinnitus. Some veterans haven’t taken action on this because they can’t pinpoint one event when their hearing loss happened. 

The VA has determined that if your MOS noise exposure level was “highly probable” or “moderate,” they can use your MOS as the event that caused your hearing loss while in service. That also means, if you were issued the 3M Combat Arms earplugs and your MOS Noise Exposure level is “highly probable” or “moderate,” you may qualify for this lawsuit. Even if you haven’t received a VA hearing diagnosis or yet been granted disability for tinnitus or hearing loss. 

A few of the MOS Noise Exposure Levels with a “high probability” of experiencing hazardous noise levels are:

  • combat engineer
  • infantryman
  • indirect fire infantryman
  • construction engineering supervisor
  • firefighter
  • infantry senior sergeant
  • horizontal construction engineer
  • prime power production specialist
  • combat engineering senior sergeant
  • cannon fire direction specialist
  • fire support specialist
  • field artillery senior sergeant
  • aircraft electrician
  • special forces weapons sergeant
  • avionics mechanic
  • air traffic control operator
  • electronic maintenance chief

Click here to find out the noise exposure level of every MOS.

If your MOS is listed as having a highly probable or moderate risk of having exposed you to hazardous noises, you shouldn’t wait on a hearing diagnosis to consult a lawyer about your 3M Combat Arms earplug case. 

Why an individual lawsuit benefits you more than joining a class action

A lot of advertising about these cases is talking about joining a class action. Here’s the truth – there is no class action lawsuit for these cases.

A judge has to certify a class, and no judge has done that for these cases. Class actions benefit lawyers, not you. That’s why we file individual lawsuits on behalf of our clients. Also, your case is not the same as anyone else’s. The fallout from the damage caused by these defective earplugs is going to be different for you than for everyone else. 

Our responsibility to you is to get you the best result possible in the shortest amount of time.

How filing a 3M earplug lawsuit could help you

If your hearing loss is attributed to wearing 3M’s Combat Arms earplugs while in the military, you could recover significant compensation. Each case is unique, however military personnel can recover compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Temporary or permanent disability
  • Loss of your ability to work
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages 
The value of your claim will depend on how your hearing loss has affected your life, earning capacity, relationship with your spouse, health, and more. We hire experts who will assess your claim and calculate the dollar amount of your losses. 

3M sued by VB Attorneys over defective dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs

Brian Beckcom has filed a lawsuit against 3M Company on behalf of our client in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Our client was issued the 3M dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs while serving in the military. He suffers from injuries and damages related to inadequate hearing protection. These injuries include tinnitus, hearing loss, and other damages. The lawsuit includes 30 claims against 3M. 

You still have time to file a lawsuit against 3M. Every case is unique, and every person injured by 3M’s greed deserves their day in court. Our goal is to get you justice and just compensation. 

 

Why you should consider VB Attorneys for your 3M Combat Arms earplug case

Who you hire as your lawyer may be the most important decision you make. It can be the difference between a small settlement and a large verdict, between a quick settlement or a lawsuit that drags on for years and years, between collecting everything to which you are legally entitled or collecting nothing at all.

Our law firm is considered one of the best law firms in the country for people injured because of a company’s wrongdoing or negligence. Mr. Beckcom and his law partner, Vuk Vujasinovic, have been involved in defective and dangerous product cases their entire careers. They have published hundreds of articles, books, news items, and other expert analysis on these types of cases. Mr. Beckcom and Mr. Vujasinovic have successfully represented hundreds of individuals in injury lawsuits against large corporations. Mr. Beckcom was the Corps Commander of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. He also comes from family of decorated military veterans, as do many members of the legal team at VB Attorneys. 

Ready to get started?

If you are ready to get started, give us a call toll free at 877.724.7800. The consultation is free and confidential. We will walk you through the entire legal process, answer every single question, and help you make the best decision for your future. You can also use the contact forms on our website to send us a confidential email, and we will schedule an immediate appointment for you to learn your rights. Our Board Certified attorneys know time is not on your side. Don’t wait another second to get the maritime injury settlement you deserve.