3M Earplug Lawsuit
Between 2003 and 2015, the Minnesota company, 3M, sold millions of combat earplugs to the U.S military. The standard-issue earplugs for those serving in areas such as Afghanistan and Iraq were the second version, dual-ended Combat Arms™ earplugs that had undisclosed defects.
If you served in the military during this time and have developed health issues related to hearing loss following the use of the dual-ended Combat Arms™ earplugs, contact Baker Legal team for a free consultation about joining the 3M Earplugs lawsuit. Our knowledgeable class-action lawsuit attorneys will provide legal guidance and help choose a course of action moving forward with your case.
What Are 3M Earplugs?
3M Combat Arms™ earplugs are earplugs made for military personnel to block out loud sounds related to combat and also allow for soft sounds to penetrate through when the earplugs are moved to the “open position.” These two modes allowed for military personnel to follow commands and hear sounds when needed and also to prevent harmful sounds, like gunshots and explosions, from damaging their ears when in use.
How Are the 3M Earplugs Defective?
3M was cognizant of the fact that their earplugs were a defective product since 2000. Their design was too loose to fit in a soldier’s ear properly to protect the ears because the ends of the earplugs were too short. The final design of these earplugs was innately flawed and had a certain unnecessary risk of harm to the user. This made them dangerous to use and could cause internal damage to the eardrums.
Auditory tests by 3M revealed that the earplugs were less effective than stated, but the tests were not disclosed to the military. Soldiers who served between 2003 and 2015 are now more likely to have developed injuries such as:
- Hearing loss
- Other hearing injuries
- Auditory processing disorders
There are various symptoms associated with hearing loss which can impact everyday life and the ability to engage in daily activities, work, and relationships.
The government sued 3M for selling its defective product and settled the case for $9.1 million. Unfortunately, although 3M discontinued its product in 2015, the earplugs were not recalled and were still used and sold to military personnel.
Can You File a Claim for 3M Earplug Damages?
As of 2020, 1.25 million veterans suffer from hearing loss due to their military service, and about 2 million suffer from tinnitus. These disabilities account for the top two service-connected disabilities afflicting former service members. 272,000 lawsuits have already been filed by veterans and members of the military for damages. You may be qualified to file a claim for 3M earplug damages if:
- You served in the military between 2003-2015
- You were issued 3M earplugs during service time
- You are now suffering from hearing loss or hearing-related injuries
The allegations against 3M were filed under the Qui tam action of the False Claims Act; this statute punishes those who defraud government programs, such as the military. The act allows for the opportunity to sue on behalf of the government against the defendant, and if the action is successful, a percentage of the compensation is awarded to the plaintiff. Because of this, those who experienced hearing loss and other injuries due to 3M’s product can now seek compensation for the damages they have incurred. If you’ve suffered from damages related to 3M earplugs, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Physical limitations
To join the 3M lawsuit, you have to prove specific elements to obtain compensation. These include proving:
- The product was defective
- The product was unnecessarily dangerous
- The product caused your injuries
The 3M Combat Arms™ earplug lawsuit may be best resolved with a mass tort that can benefit individuals by merging resources and streamlining the case as seamlessly as possible.
3M Settlements and Verdict Updates
There are currently around 272,000 plaintiffs with lawsuits pending against 3M. The latest lawsuit verdict was the largest yet:
- December 2021: The jury awarded plaintiff Theodore Finley a $22.5 million verdict because of his hearing loss and tinnitus due to the 3M earplugs he used during his military service in 2006-2014.
- November 2021: The trial resulted in a $13 million verdict for Guillermo Camarillorazo.
- October 2021: Brandon Atkins received an $8.2 million verdict.
Three of nine plaintiffs lost and weren’t awarded any compensation for damages. The other six plaintiffs won a total of $29,429,925 in damages.
Contact a Knowledgeable Class-Action Lawsuit Attorney for Help with Your Claim
If you have been injured during military service due to 3M earplugs that resulted in hearing loss or other hearing conditions, you may be able to pursue a compensation claim for your damages. Robert B. Baker is a knowledgeable class-action lawsuit attorney with more than 30 years of experience in helping clients get the compensation they deserve.
Baker Legal Team understands that filing a lawsuit against a large company like 3M can be intimidating and overwhelming. As knowledgeable personal injury lawyers, we are familiar with handling complicated claims and are dedicated to helping you recover the compensation you deserve. Call Baker Legal Team for a complimentary consultation at (561) 320-0000 or complete our online contact form.