3M Settling Cases Involving Faulty Earplugs Used by Veterans
3M Company has reached a $9.1 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice for selling defective earplugs to the military. The earplugs, which were originally manufactured by Aero Technologies but later acquired by 3M, were the exclusive product used by service members of the Army, Navy, and Air Force in the Iraq War and in Afghanistan from 2003-2015. The dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) are defective and allow damaging sounds to enter the ear canal, causing permanent hearing loss and tinnitus to many of our nation’s heroes. There is also evidence that the company knew that the product was faulty as far back as 2000. This is particularly troublesome because 3M had a government contract to provide a safe product to our service members.
The CAEv2 earplugs are dual-ended earbuds that provide two levels of protection to the wearer. The settlement alleged that they are defective because they are too short to fit into the ear canal. This causes them to loosen imperceptibly in the ear and results in a failure to protect the wearer against damaging noises from gunshots, explosions, bombs, and aircraft. As stated above, these noises can result in permanent damage. In fact, a recent study by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs found that over a million veterans are currently collecting VA benefits for hearing loss and tinnitus sustained during active duty. Now, they may also be able to recover compensation with the help of an experienced 3M defective earplug lawyer through an individual claim.
“Government contractors who seek to profit at the expense of our military will face appropriate consequences,” according to an Assistant U.S. Attorney General when discussing the settlement. This $9.1 million settlement is to resolve claims that 3M defrauded the U.S. government. However, service members and veterans who used the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 and have suffered tinnitus or hearing loss may have individual lawsuits for their personal injuries and damages. If you or a family member used these faulty combat earplugs and have suffered any degree of hearing loss, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to protect your claim. Contact Whitley Law Firm at 800-785-5000 now to speak with an attorney now about your case and find out what we can do to help.