It's not too late to receive compensation if you wore faulty 3M earplugs

Elizabeth Howe
February 27, 2020 - 12:29 pm
Hearing Loss

DVIDS

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Hundreds of service members have filed lawsuits against 3M over allegedly faulty earplugs — and it's not too late to follow suit. 

In July of 2018, 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million to the Department of Justice to settle claims that it knowingly sold defective Combat Arms Earplugs to the U.S. military to be issued to service members. According to the allegations of the lawsuit, the product's design was too short to be correctly inserted in the user's ear and would loosen imperceptibly. 3M allegedly knew its earplugs were faulty and sold them anyway, likely resulting in the hearing loss of thousands of soldiers, and putting millions more at risk.  

3M: $9m fine for allegedly selling faulty ear plugs to the military

But the money 3M paid to settle these allegations did not go to the service members affected. Those lawsuits are still being filed — and there are hundreds of them. 

Hearing loss from faulty 3M ear plugs? Join the lawsuit

A combined litigation filed in a Florida federal court in July of 2019 included 1,220 combat earplug lawsuits of service members experiencing tinnitus, hearing loss, and loss of balance. According to the Department of Defense, the symptoms of combat-related hearing problems include difficulty hearing someone talking three feet away, difficulty understanding what people are saying, and buzzing or ringing in the ears.

100 veterans in Waco sue 3M, tens of thousands more expected

Service members who used 3M dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs during military service between 2003 and 2015 may be eligible to file a lawsuit for compensation to cover medical bills or termporary or permanent disability that results in loss of the ability to work, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity. The compensation can also be used to cover decreased quality of life, depression, anxiety, or other problems that resulted from hearing loss.

Any veteran who believes he or she may be eligible should contact a lawyer — consultations are generally free, and filing a lawsuit against 3M will not affect VA disability benefits. 

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