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3M Defective Earplugs Lawsuit

Did you serve in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015 and used 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2)? Are you experiencing or have been diagnosed with hearing loss? You may have a potential product liability claim against the earplug manufacturers. The Pennsylvania product liability lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli are prepared to listen to your story and fight for your rights.

The Use of Dual-Ended Earplugs in the Military

3m earplugs fellerman and ciarimboliBetween 2003 and 2015, the United States had provided 3M Combat Arms dual-ended earplugs to soldiers. Designed and supplied by Aearo Technologies, then later 3M Company, these earplugs had a dual purpose:

  • The closed end was to protect soldiers’ hearing by blocking all sounds, such as dangerous impulse noises.
  • The open end would allow soldiers to block loud impulse sounds while still hearing spoken words.

The earplugs, which could be distinguished by the double cone-like ends that were olive green and yellow, are too short to be properly inserted into the ear canal. Since the earplugs did not correctly fit in some wearer’s ears, the earplugs loosened and allowed dangerous sounds to breach the ear canal, increasing the risk of hearing loss and tinnitus (a ringing in the ears).

Whistleblower/Qui Tam Lawsuit Against 3M

In May 2016, a False Claims Act claim was filed against 3M, alleging the company knew the earplugs had a design defect that exposed the U.S. military to dangerous sound levels, causing hearing issues. According to the lawsuit, testing by the company had shown the earplugs had a noise reduction rating of zero. Despite this knowledge, 3M had supplied the U.S. government with the defective earplugs and then requesting payment without disclosing the alleged design defect or any flawed testing it did on the product. As a result of its negligence, U.S. military personnel have been exposed to serious risk of hearing loss.

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The U.S. government and 3M had settled in 2018 for $9.1 million without the company making any admissions to liability in their negligence.

Am I Entitled to Compensation?

Though the U.S. government was able to seek justice for its damages, U.S. military personnel were not part of this settlement. Soldiers who bravely faced combat are now facing issues with their hearing.

You may be entitled to the following compensation if the following criteria apply to your case:

  • You served in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015
  • You were issued 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 during your service
  • You now suffer from either permanent hearing loss or tinnitus

According to product liability law, you could receive damages for economic loss, such as medical bills and loss of income or earning potential. You may also be eligible for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment. Only an experienced personal injury attorney can assist you with your claim.

How Fellerman & Ciarimboli Can Help

At Fellerman & Ciarimboli, we honor those who served our country bravely. It is tragic to think our soldiers were hurt by the products that were meant to protect them. We want to help you seek compensation for the damage that was done to your hearing and has affected the quality of your life. With decades of experience in personal injury and product liability litigation, Fellerman & Ciarimboli will be your voice inside and outside the courtroom.

The time to act is today. If you served in the military and used 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, contact our personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation. Results matter.

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