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3M Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuit Attorneys

The United States military hired Aearo Technologies Inc. in 2003 to supply dual-ended combat earplugs. The aim was to protect the ears of the personnel from the loud sounds associated with military training and combat. In 2008, 3M took over Aero. Eventually, the military received Combat Arms earplugs from Aearo and its parent company, 3M, between 2003 and 2015.

The United States Department of Justice discovered that these earplug products were too short for ear insertion. Users were at risk of permanent hearing loss, impairment, and tinnitus due to this design defect. 3M was the sole manufacturer of earplugs required for deployed soldiers in military service. This manufacturing firm was aware of the product defect but failed to notify the officials about the flaw. Its negligent actions caused thousands of service members to suffer from hearing loss over 12 years. Ultimately, it invited many veterans with hearing problems to file a 3M earplug lawsuit. You can also seek reimbursement if you served in any military branch between 2003 and 2015 and faced hearing impairment. We have skilled 3M Earplug lawsuit lawyers available at Phillips Law Offices for assistance.

Consequences Of Using Defective Earplugs

Dual-ended combat arms earplug is a specially designed product used for ear protection. It enabled soldiers to block out distracting noise while still hearing battlefield commands. One could adjust sounds based on volume. The specific earplugs made by 3M came in yellow and black colors. Users could insert the yellow side of the earplug into their ears. These devices were the only ear protection options available to American service members. The problem was that 3M earplugs had a poor design. It provided a fit that was too short for protection from extreme noises during training and combat. The most common disabilities veterans experienced with this product were:


Tinnitus is the perception of noise in one or both of your ears. You hear phantom noises in your ears, like ringing, buzzing, clicking, roaring, hissing, or chirping. Since it does not come from an external source, only you can hear the sound. The roars and squeals can range in volume from low to high. Some people having tinnitus may hear the noises constantly, while others might not listen to them occasionally.

Hearing loss

Noise exposure can impair your capacity to listen to high-pitched sounds. It means you can hear some sounds, but their audibility is unclear. Initially, noise tires out the inner ear causing temporary hearing loss. If you spend some time away from the noise, your hearing ability will restore. On the contrary, continuous noise exposure will weaken the healing potential of your ear and lead to permanent hearing loss.

3M Earplug - hearing loss
3M earplug lawsuit

Hearing impairments, including tinnitus and hearing loss, are the most prevalent service-related disabilities among military veterans. Studies reveal that military veterans are four times more likely to suffer from a severe hearing impairment than non-veterans. It is why the military has always emphasized improving its hearing conservation programs and reducing hearing loss. From 2003 to 2015, more than 1.56 million active infantrymen shifted to the US-led war zone. It accounted for about 20% of the American military. According to Veteran Affairs data, hearing loss and tinnitus increased dramatically between 2003 and 2015, reaching a peak in 2012.

Allegations of 3M earplug lawsuit

3M offered dual-ended design earplugs that should have facilitated normal hearing and eardrum protection. The service members trusted the ear product to withstand gunfire, explosion, and other noises common to military training and battlefields. Unfortunately, many users found that the earplugs did not fit properly and did not offer the anticipated level of protection. 3M knew about their defective design before signing their contract with the American military. The earplugs company deliberately put military personnel in danger of suffering irreparable damage.

The information about faulty 3M earplugs came to light when rival earplug manufacturer Moldex Metric Inc. filed a Whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claims Act in 2016. The complaint asserted that 3M and Aero Technologies were aware of the defects in the earplugs. The stem of the device was too short to function adequately. Despite knowing about the product malfunction, they did not notify the veterans who relied on their devices. The lawsuit also claimed that the companies conducted fraudulent testing to comply with United States military standards.

Eligibility for 3M Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuit

3M was the sole supplier of earplugs for the military personnel sent to a combat area in the United States. Millions of service members received the product for safety and health concerns. Most likely, veterans who served in Afghanistan, Iraq, or any other war zone used these earplugs. Damaging sound levels due to technical fault devices exposed most service members to military hearing loss. 3M Earplug users involved in these wars can fight for justice.

  •  War in Afghanistan
  •  Iraq War
  •  Insurgency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  •  Somali Civil War
  •  American-led interventions in Iraq (2014-2017)
  •  American intervention in Libya (2015 to 2019)
  •  American-led intervention in the Syrian civil war

Note that you should have a medical diagnosis of tinnitus or hearing loss at or around the time of your military discharge. A mass tort will be used to adjudicate the lawsuits brought against 3M. It implies that each individual will have to file a lawsuit that might get consolidated before a single judge. Over 290,000 cases have been filed against 3M earplugs manufacturers till now, making it the greatest mass tort in history. If you are a US-based military veteran who served between 2003-2015 and suffered from hearing issues due to 3M earplugs, you qualify to take legal action. For a fair settlement amount, have an experienced 3M earplug lawsuit attorney on your side.

3M Earplug lawsuit settlements

In 2016, Moldex-Metric Inc. filed a whistleblower lawsuit against 3M alleging that the dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs were defective. According to their suit, 3M committed fraud by selling the product to the military for decades without disclosing the flaws. To resolve allegations, the United States Department of Justice and 3M settled claims for $9.1 million in 2018. In a press release, authorities affirmed that 3M knowingly sold the dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2), to the military without revealing the defect.

Numerous veterans have sued 3M for hearing loss and tinnitus until now. An American judge ruled in August 2022 that the bankruptcy of the 3M subsidiary did not bar lawsuits against the parent company. Henceforth, 3M company faced more than 290,000 lawsuits that accused the firm of selling defective earplugs to the US military.

Role of a 3M Earplug lawsuit lawyer In Chicago

Hearing capacity is essential for soldiers to do their job. It keeps them vigilant in combat zones and enables them to communicate with other soldiers. But military personnel have to deal with potentially harmful noises during training, standard military procedures, and the battlefield. For the welfare of veterans, the military contracted with 3M to provide quality earplugs. Unfortunately, the company supplied defective earplugs that gradually shrunk in a subtle way that the wearers could not notice. The result was that their product did not perform the desired noise cancellation.

The misrepresentation of the safety of 3M Combat Arms Earplugs led to enormous hearing injuries for US military service members. If you or a loved one has sustained hearing loss injuries due to their negligence, our team of experienced lawyers at Phillips Law Offices are handling 3M Earplug lawsuit and can help you to settle your claim. We can evaluate your potential military hearing loss lawsuit and ensure adequate compensation. The settlement amount will help recover your lost wages, medical bills, and other damages. You can contact us by simply visiting our website. We have the financial resources and requisite skills to defend your rights. Our track record reveals our steadfast commitment to offering the best legal representation to those who have suffered injuries because of corporate negligence.

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