For more than a decade, the 3M Company manufactured earplugs – the Combat Arms Ear Plugs – that were sold to the U.S. military. Now, the company faces several lawsuits over the defectiveness of this product and the resulting hearing loss suffered by many service members.
Not only did 3M make faulty earplugs that have left veterans with hearing loss, lawsuits now allege that the company knew this product was defective and continued to sell it to the U.S. military.
In addition to the legal actions 3M faces, the company was also forced to settle a product defect lawsuit and a False Claims Act lawsuit with the federal government for more than $9 million. The allegations against 3M paint a picture of veterans living with completely unnecessary injuries and a negligent manufacturer that knew it was providing faulty protective devices to our military.
How the Combat Arms Ear Plugs are Defective
The lawsuit filed by the federal government involved allegations that the earplugs were “too short for proper insertion into users’ ears and that the earplugs could loosen imperceptibly and therefore did not perform well for certain individuals,” according to the Justice Department. The government also claimed the company failed to disclose the defects of their product to the military.
Consequences of the Defective Earplugs
Because of the defects of 3M’s earplugs, service members now live with hearing loss that dramatically impacts their lives. One Texas veteran is claiming in a lawsuit that he experiences a high pitch frequency in his ear that is sometimes deafening. The retired Army Sergeant said that he regularly has headaches and dizziness and that he must have background noise to sleep.
At least one other lawsuit against the 3M Company claims that a service member has tinnitus, a symptom commonly associated with hearing loss. Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no actual sound is occurring. It typically involves a constant ringing in the ears, though it might also include a buzzing, whistling, or hissing noise.
3M Should Be Held Accountable for Its Negligence
Clearly, the consequences of a defective protective device like the Combat Arms Ear Plug can be devastating for service members. 3M knew about the shortcomings of their products, which makes the company not only incompetent but willingly deceptive.
This type of negligence is unacceptable. Our veterans deserve justice for the harm they’ve suffered. Through product liability claims, service members can pursue payment for the many costs they’ll encounter.
If you or a loved one is a veteran that is living with hearing loss due to a defective earplug manufactured by 3M Company, we encourage you to contact an attorney who will handle your combat earplug lawsuit at the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant. We are now receiving inquiries about these cases so we can fight for injured veterans.
Terry Bryant is Board Certified in personal injury trial law, which means his extensive knowledge of the law has been recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, setting him apart from many other injury attorneys. The 22 years he spent as a Municipal Judge, Spring Valley Village, TX also provides him keen insight into the Texas court system. That experience also helps shape his perspective on personal injury cases and how they might resolve. This unique insight benefits his clients. [ Attorney Bio ]