What Should I Do if I Wore 3M Earplugs and am Experiencing Hearing Loss?
In July of 2018, 3M settled with the Department of Justice for just over $9 million for selling the U.S. Military defective earplugs. These earplugs were the Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) and were used exclusively by servicemen and women in all branches of the Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the earplugs had severe defects that have been found to cause hearing loss and tinnitus in many of those who wore them.
The news was shocking to veterans who have returned home, as well as those still on active duty. It has many of these troops wondering what they can do if they wore 3M CAEv2 earplugs and are now experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus.
Defects Found in 3M Earplugs
Aearo Technologies first developed the Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 before selling the technology to 3M. 3M expanded on that design to create an earplug that functioned in two different ways. Army, Navy, and Air Force members wore them from 2003 – 2015. However, 3M became aware of a defect in 2000, years before they became widely used.
The issue was that the end inserted into the ear canal was not long enough to fully block out all the sound. This left the user’s ear exposed to loud noises from explosions, gunfire, and aircraft that caused hearing loss and tinnitus the earplugs were meant to prevent.
As the earplugs shifted and loosened imperceptibly in the ear, those wearing them were often not aware their ear canals were exposed and that they were potentially damaging their hearing. The news of the defects and the settled lawsuit with the U.S. government have left many veterans who sustained hearing damage in combat wondering what they can do next.
Veterans Who Used CAEv2 May File a Lawsuit
Veterans shocked by the news of the defect can take legal action. Product liability law states that manufacturers such as 3M are responsible for ensuring those that use their products remain safe while doing so.
Defects in a product’s design, such as those found in the 3M earplugs, may prove manufacturer negligence. When that is the case, the company can be held legally liable for paying compensation to anyone who was injured after using that product.
Also, proof has emerged that 3M knew about the defects since 2000. Yet, they continued to sell the earplugs to the military with the understanding that veterans would wear them. This could be considered further negligence on their part.
Speak to a Defective Earplugs Lawyer Who Could Help
Large companies such as 3M though, have teams of lawyers to protect them against such lawsuits. This can be difficult for plaintiffs required to prove their case in court.
It is for this reason that any veteran who believes they sustained an injury due to the 3M earplugs should speak to an attorney. An experienced attorney will not be intimated by those large teams of lawyers. They can also help prove that these earplugs caused a veteran’s injuries.
If you were injured due to 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, call an attorney today who can begin reviewing your case. You may be entitled to compensation and having legal representation at your side can help you get it.