Around 250,000 military service members who used dual-sided 3M Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) from 2003 to 2015 have been diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus.
What You Can Do & How We Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting 3M earplug induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has hearing loss or tinnitus after using defective earplugs, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
UPDATE: 3rd Trial Ends in $1.7 Million Jury Verdict to Infantryman
In June 2021, a former infantryman and machine gun operator who lost his hearing despite using 3M’s earplugs was awarded $1.7 million by a jury in Florida. He suffered hearing loss and tinnitus in both ears after using 3M’s earplugs during training at Fort Lewis and after he was deployed to Iraq.
1st Trial Ends in $7.1 Million Jury Verdict to 3 Veterans
In April 2021, the 1st trial involving hearing loss from 3M Earplugs ended with a jury in Florida awarding $7.1 million to three veterans (or about $2.4 million each). The “bellwether” trial was the first case to test how a jury would respond to evidence, which could lead to a settlement in thousands of other lawsuits.
240,000 People Join Military Earplug MDL
As of May 2021, around 240,000 registered military servicemen and women nationwide have claimed they suffered hearing loss due to 3M’s dual-ended Combat Arms military-issue earplugs.
The most common claimants are Army veterans between the ages of 30 and 49 with tinnitus and hearing loss who served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.
Instead of a class action, these cases are centralized in MDL No. 2885 – 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Products Liability Litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida.
What is the Problem?
Lawsuits claim that Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) manufactured by 3M are defective because they can slowly loosen while being worn, exposing users to dangerous sounds that cause hearing damage.
3M Pays $9 Million Settlement for Soldiers’ Defective Earplugs
In July 2018, 3M paid a $9.1 million settlement to end a whistleblower lawsuit from the U.S. Defense Department. The payout resolved allegations that the company sold defective dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) to the military for more than a decade.
Defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawsuit
The U.S. claimed that 3M knew the CAEv2 earplug stem was too short, which made the earplugs difficult to insert deeply enough to achieve a proper fit for some wearers. 3M and Aearo were allegedly aware of the defects as early as 2000, but did not tell the military.
What is the Risk?
If the earplugs do not make a tight seal, dangerous sounds can enter the ear canal and cause severe side effects, such as:
- Hearing loss
- Ringing in the ears
What are CAEv2 Ear Plugs?
3M earplugs were issued to millions of service members in foreign conflicts between 2002 and 2016. Unfortunately, people who used these earplugs may have been exposed to dangerous sounds.
How Do They Work?
The 2-sided earplugs should have performed two functions. The olive-green side worked like traditional earplugs, while the yellow side allowed quieter sounds (like spoken words) while blocking loud impulse sounds, such as from explosions and gunfire.
Who Used CAEv2 Earplugs?
Military conflicts where CAEv2 earplugs were standard issue include:
- War in Afghanistan
- The Iraq War
- War in North-West Pakistan (War on Terror)
- War in Somalia
- Operation Ocean Shield in the Indian Ocean
- American-led intervention in Libya (Libyan Crisis)
- American-led intervention in Syria
- Yemeni Civil War
Was Your Hearing Damaged by Defective Military Earplugs?
Hearing loss is one of the most common long-term health problems facing military members. The consequences can be devastating — hearing loss can exacerbate depression, make it difficult to work, go to school, or find employment, and significantly decrease quality of life.
3M Earplug Class Action Lawsuit
Lawyers are working with service members to recover compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, and disability as a result of hearing loss from wearing these allegedly defective military earplugs.
Do I have a 3M Earplug Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting 3M earplug induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has hearing loss or tinnitus from using defective earplugs, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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