3M Earplugs Divider
Class Action

3M Military Earplugs Lawsuits

TSR Injury Law is currently investigating claims against 3M about its Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2. Tens of thousands of veterans allege these earplugs were defective and caused them to suffer significant hearing damage, including partial or complete hearing loss.

If you used these earplugs and have been diagnosed with hearing impairment and/or tinnitus, we may be able to help you seek compensation. An initial consultation with one of our Bloomington defective product lawyers is free. There are also no upfront fees if we represent you.

In 20 plus years of representing injury victims, our firm has secured $300 million on behalf of our clients. This track record includes a settlement of $3.75 million in a defective product case. Partner Rich Ruohonen has been selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers every year since 2003. He was also chosen as Minnesota Attorney of the Year in 2016, along with TSR Partner Chuck Slane.

Schedule your free consultation today. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

Who is Eligible to File a Claim?

3M Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 were used exclusively by the military between 2003 and 2015. They were standard issue equipment for all branches of the military. That means current or former members of the military who served during this time may be eligible to file a claim if they were diagnosed with hearing impairment or tinnitus.

Veterans of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somali, Libya and the Indian Ocean were also likely issued 3M earplugs and may have grounds for a lawsuit.

However, our attorneys need to discuss your situation in detail to know for sure if you may have a case. For example, we need to learn more about your diagnosis. If you had a preexisting hearing impairment before you entered the service or before you were issued 3M earplugs, it may affect your eligibility for filing a case.

The date of your diagnosis is relevant as well. If you were diagnosed during your service or within one year of being discharged, you may be eligible to file a claim.

If you worked as a Department of Defense (DOD) contractor between 2003 and 2015, you may also be eligible.  

Many of those who have filed claims are between the ages of 30 and 49 and have a combination of hearing loss and tinnitus.

You may be eligible to file a claim even if you are currently receiving veteran’s disability benefits. Any compensation you may receive should not reduce your existing benefits.

TSR Injury Law. We are here to help. (612) TSR-TIME

Benefits of Having an Experienced Attorney

Defective product cases are amongst the most complex personal injury cases. It takes time to investigate and gather evidence to attempt to prove a product is defective and linked to injuries. You need an experienced lawyer who has secured settlements and verdicts for other victims injured by another’s negligence. You also need a lawyer with vast legal knowledge who knows how to validate a defective product claim.

In a free consultation at TSR Injury Law, you can learn more about our experience and history of results. We have secured millions in compensation in a wide variety of cases, including defective product cases. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience and have been recognized by numerous legal organizations, including The National Trial Lawyers Association and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Compensation for Victims of 3M Combat Arms Earplugs

If you have a valid claim, you may be eligible to seek compensation for damages that resulted from your hearing loss. For example, you may be eligible to seek compensation for the cost of medical testing of your hearing, surgeries, hearing aids and other interventions meant to help improve your hearing. This includes the cost of medical treatment you have already paid for and treatment you have not yet received.

Victims of 3M Combat Arms Earplugs may also be able to seek compensation for lost wages and lost earning capacity, as hearing impairment could hurt their ability to work, both now and long term. Victims may need to change careers, which could result in earning less money than before.

Noneconomic damages may also be available, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost enjoyment of life if hearing impairment keeps you from engaging in certain activities
  • Lost companionship, if your relationship with your spouse is impacted by your hearing impairment

The attorneys at TSR understand how to calculate damages that may result from an injury like hearing loss. We are prepared to review many factors to determine how much your claim may be worth, including medical records, employment history and your account of the mental effects from your injuries.

Why Were 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Defective?

From 2003 to 2015, branches of the U.S. military were issued 3M Combat Arms Version 2 (CAEv2) earplugs. 3M had obtained an exclusive contract with the military through the DOD. 

The dual-ended earplugs were marketed to the military as superior protection from peak-level noises. The earplugs’ olive-colored side reportedly had a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 22 decibels. This level of NRR is designed to block out significant levels of loud noises, such as explosions, gunfire, aircraft or ground vehicles. The yellow end of the earplug was only intended to filter out high levels of continuous noise while allowing softer sounds nearby, such as spoken orders, to be heard.

The original design of the earplugs was a problem because service members’ helmets would not fit properly with earplugs in their ears. Aearo Technologies, which was later bought by 3M, modified the design of the earplugs to make them shorter. However, the shorter earplugs did not fit deep enough into the ear to block out high-level sounds. Sometimes the plugs would fall out or loosen.

While service members thought they were protecting their eardrums, they were getting no such protection. Many were repeatedly exposed to loud noises that damaged their eardrums, causing tinnitus (buzzing, hissing or ringing in the ears) or a complete or partial loss of hearing.

Have questions? Give us a call for assistance. (612) TSR-TIME

Was 3M Aware the Earplugs Were Defective?

Lawsuits against 3M allege the company knew the earplugs were defective and would not do what they were advertised to do. If claimants can prove 3M knew of these problems with the earplugs, the company may be guilty of negligence.

There is strong evidence indicating 3M was aware of the defects with the earplugs but continued selling them to the military anyway.

Much information came out because of a federal whistleblower lawsuit against 3M that resulted in a settlement of $9.1 million. Even though 3M admitted no wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, there is documentation showing the company took steps to falsify test results. These fabricated test results allowed them to claim the earplugs met military safety standards.

Documents also show Aearo Technologies knew, as far back as 2000, that the earplugs would not work as intended.

Even after the settlement brought some disturbing things to light, 3M did not recall the earplugs. The company simply stopped selling them.

3M Earplugs Multidistrict Litigation

There have been so many lawsuits filed against 3M over Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 that they were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in 2018. Since that time, the MDL has grown to include more than 229,000 claims. It has become the largest MDL in history.

An MDL combines claims with similar allegations into one legal action to be managed by one court. The idea is to help speed up the legal process. Instead of these claims being in separate courts around the nation, they can be in one place.

The next step is to pick out some of the claims to serve as bellwether cases. Typically, after a few bellwether trials take place, both sides have a better idea about how juries may rule in these cases. This often leads to a settlement of many of the other claims.

The first bellwether trial began in March 2021. A favorable result may bode well for the other claimants in the MDL.

You may be able to join the MDL. This is something to discuss with a licensed attorney in a free consultation. You may have limited time to file so it is important to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible.  

Call to Discuss a Potential 3M Military Earplugs Lawsuit

Product manufacturers like 3M have a legal obligation to produce and distribute safe products that work as they are designed. Product manufacturers must also warn users about known defects. That way users do not get a false impression of how well a product is working.

When manufacturers fail to satisfy these legal obligations, they should be held accountable. The licensed attorneys at TSR Injury law are ready to help you file a claim against a negligent product manufacturer. We have the resources and legal knowledge to investigate and build a strong case.

There is no risk in contacting us, as the initial consultation is free, and you are not obligated to hire our firm. We can determine if you may have a case and discuss how we can help you. There are no fees while we work on your case. 

Licensed. Local. Lawyers. Phone: (612) TSR-TIME.

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