If you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces and suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus, or difficulty with balance, you may be eligible to join hundreds of others in pursuing compensation from earplug manufacturer 3M Company.
From 2003 until 2015, 3M Company served as a military contractor, providing all branches of the armed forces with their Combat Arms earplugs. Now, many of the men and women who used these devices to protect their hearing while serving in the military are taking legal action against 3M alleging their product was defective.
Many Veterans Allege 3M Manufactured Defective Earplugs
According to around one hundred lawsuits pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Waco Division as of April 2019, 3M Company’s Combat Arms earplugs did not seal correctly in the ear canal and allowed loud noises to pass through and damage sensitive parts of the middle and inner ear. The lawsuit claim 3M Company failed to provide proper instructions for use, including ensuring the ear canal was adequately blocked.
In addition, the lawsuits allege that 3M Company executives knew their earplugs were defective years before they entered into the contract with the military, but they falsified documents to cover up their test results. This is a serious accusation and could amount to gross negligence if the courts find it is true.
Understanding the Issue with 3M Combat Arms Earplugs
If you were in the military between 2003 and 2015, you likely came into contact with Version 2 of the Combat Arms earplugs. They might be used when working around aircraft, when firing artillery, or when you might encounter an improvised explosive device or another bomb.
This earplug was popular because it had dual ends, with the yellow end promising to allow you to hear normal conversation as well as other low-level sounds while protecting your hearing from loud noises. You may recognize these plugs from their trademarked yellow and black design.
3M Company stopped making these Combat Arms earplugs in 2015, but many still may be available through third-party sellers and others. We recommend avoiding the use of these earplugs when there are better solutions on the market.
Hundreds of Veterans Suffered Significant Hearing Loss and Damages
Veterans who are pursuing legal action against 3M allege the company’s earplugs failed to prevent serious and permanent damage to their hearing or caused related conditions. Primarily, this includes:
- Hearing loss in one or both ears
- Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear or ears
- Issues with balance related to middle or inner ear damage
- Other problems with the brain, the ear, or hearing related to exposure to loud noises
While your benefits available from the Department of Veterans Affairs and your local VA hospital will likely provide testing, medical care, and some benefits based on your level of disability, you may need other benefits or a payout to help you get back on your feet while living with these impairments. If we can recover a payout or get an award at trial, you can recover compensation that may include:
- The cost of hearing aids or other prescribed medical devices
- Other losses and expenses not covered by your veterans benefits
- Out-of-pocket costs related to your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Punitive damages, in some cases
Berger and Green Can Help You Take Legal Action Against 3M Company
The attorneys from Berger and Green have spent decades fighting for payouts for injury victims. We can review your case against 3M Company for the damages and lasting impairments you suffered after using potentially defective Combat Arms earplugs. We will evaluate the strength of your case at no cost to you.
We can prepare a strong argument and file a lawsuit on your behalf or join in a mass tort if possible. As of April 2019, the courts have not yet consolidated the cases filed against 3M Company. However, it is possible they will consolidate these cases into multidistrict litigation in the future. If this occurs, we can help you understand how this changes what happens with your case at that time.
No matter what happens with these cases, you can count on our team to stand by you and fight for your best interests. Call or text 412-661-1400 today to get started.
Talk to a Defective Device Attorney About Your Case Today
If you suffered hearing damage or have a related condition after serving in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015, Berger and Green can help. We will evaluate your 3M combat arms earplugs case at no cost to you and handle it on a contingency fee basis. You pay us no attorney’s fees until we have a payout for you in hand.
Call or text us today at 412-661-1400. We are here to help you understand your 3M combat arms earplugs lawsuit and fight for the compensation you deserve.