In 2003, the United States military purchased a line of earplugs from 3M that specially created to them to use in combat. The earplugs are known as the 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs, and they were designed with dual features for people to use during battle. Unfortunately, the 3M military earplugs were defective. One side (the darker side) is designed to block out very loud sounds like explosions. The yellow side was designed for troops to hear quieter sounds like speaking to each other.
Evidently, hundreds of military soldiers have been using them in combat for over 10 years thinking they were safe. But it was found the design was ineffective and caused hearing damage to numerous military people. In 2018, 3M paid $9.1 million to resolve allegations concerning the defective earplugs. The issue with this is none of the $9.1 million will go to veterans and others performing in combat that developed hearing damage and/or other medical issues caused by the defective 3M military earplug. Because of this, a vast number of veterans have begun suing 3M for compensation regarding their permanent injures induced by the malfunction of the specially designed earplugs. Here is everything you need to know about the lawsuits and if you qualify for said compensation.
Why is 3M responsible?
The issue with the 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs design remains that the plug was too short to sit properly in the ear. Because of this, destructive noise can easily pass through causing hearing damage. According to court documents filed by the United States Justice Departments, 3M was allegedly completely aware of the defect and did not disclose the information to the military and willingly sold the product to them. Furthermore, continue reading to see if you are all eligible to receive compensation for injuries caused by the 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs.
Qualifying questions for the 3M earplug lawsuit:
Have I ever used the 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs?
If you served in the United States military between the years of 2003-2015 and deployed into battle and/or trained with the 3M earplugs, you may qualify for compensation. Additionally, if you served in a battle in the areas of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, or the Indian Ocean you probably used the defective 3M earplugs.
Do you have hearing problems or suffered any other injuries?
Many people are reporting hearing issues after using the defective 3M military earplugs. Symptoms of hearing loss include:
- Muffling of speech and other sounds
- Ringing sounds in the ears
- Difficulty understanding words, especially against background noise or in a crowd
- Trouble hearing consonants
- Frequently asking others to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly
- Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio
- Withdrawal from conversations
- Avoidance of some social settings
- Difficulty sleep or concentrating
- Difficulty understanding speech over the phone
- Trouble distinguishing speech consonants (e.g., difficulty distinguishing the difference between s and f, between p and t, or between “sh” and “th” in speech)
- Hypersensitivity to certain sounds (certain sounds are very bothersome or create pain)
If you have any of these symptoms after using the defective 3M military earplugs serving in the military, you should seek compensation for your injuries suffered.
What recoverable damages can I seek in the 3M lawsuit?
The current lawsuits for the 3M defective military earplugs are seeking compensation in various areas, not just hearing loss. additionally, people are searching for damages including:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Hearing loss
- Lost wages
- Hearing aid costs
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Prescription medicines
- Depleted enjoyment of life
I believe I qualify for this lawsuit, what do I next?
If you believe you are eligible for the lawsuit based on the questions and qualifications above the next step is to find a reputable law firm to represent you for this case. Particularly, it is important to find a trustworthy law firm that has extensive experience in product liability cases.