3M Earplugs Lawyer

Our service members risk their lives to preserve and protect the safety of American citizens. With so much at stake, the military should equip the men and women in our military forces with appropriate and effective gear. An extensive budget allows the military to invest in state-of-the-art equipment for its members. But, sometimes this equipment may be faulty like 3M Earplugs. 

Our law firm is currently handling lawsuits on behalf of individuals who used 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms V2 Earplugs from 3M and Aearo Technologies Inc. Users of the earplugs allege that the earplugs are defective and cause serious injuries, including tinnitus and hearing loss.

What Are 3M Earplugs?

All branches of the military endure loud noises for extended periods of time. It is important to safeguard one’s ears in noisy environments to avoid hearing loss. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, hearing issues are the most common service-related disability for those in the armed forces. From 2003 to 2015 the United States military issued Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs to thousands of service members in the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines. Armed Forces members in Iraq and Afghanistan exclusively used 3M earplugs. Aearo Technologies originally produced the earplugs, until 3M purchased Aearo in 2008.

3M Earplugs Defects

The Dual-Ended Combat Arms earplugs provide users with two options. The olive-colored end blocked all sound, while the yellow-colored end reduced loud sounds but allowed users to partially hear. A dangerous design defect left the 3M earplug stems too short. This shortened stem prevented users from inserting the earplugs deeply into the ear canals and resulted in an inadequate seal. The faulty seal caused earplugs to become loose and rendered the earplugs unable to protect the user’s hearing.

 3M Earplugs Injuries

3M had an exclusive contract to supply the U.S. military with its 3M Earplugs. Military bases across the country received 3M earplugs, and by 2004 all deployed soldiers were provided 3M Earplugs. The defective 3M Combat Arms V2 Earplugs may cause hearing loss and tinnitus. The symptoms of tinnitus include:

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Muffling of sounds
  • Difficulty understanding speech
  • Trouble sleeping or concentrating
  • Hypersensitivity to sounds

Hearing loss and tinnitus can also take a toll on a service member’s mental health. Those with hearing loss and tinnitus may develop anxiety and depression. The constant ringing caused by tinnitus can also worsen a service member’s PTSD. 

3M Lawsuits

3M Earplugs did not block out loud noise from aircraft, artillery, and explosives. Individuals in the military are exposed to deafening sounds for hours daily. Flawless and reliable earplugs are needed to shield service members from hearing damage. But, 3M’s design failure resulted in hearing problems for hundreds of thousands of service members. Over 250,000 lawsuits have been filed against 3M, making it the largest mass tort litigation in history.

Thus far, plaintiffs have won large settlement amounts against 3M Company. One trial in April 2021, led to a $7.1 million verdict for three plaintiffs. And another plaintiff received a $22.5 million settlement in December 2021, the largest win to date. However, in July 2022, 3M Co. announced its plan to set aside $1 billion to settle all remaining 3M dual combat earplug lawsuits. Per this plan, Aearo Technologies also filed for bankruptcy. This maneuver would only leave plaintiffs roughly $5,000 each for hearing damage and loss. Yet, in August, the bankruptcy judge ruled that cases against 3M may proceed parallel to Aearo Technologies’ chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Can I Recover Compensation for My Injuries in a 3M Earplugs Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one developed hearing loss or tinnitus after using 3M Earplugs, you may recover compensation for any or all of the following:

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Past and future pain and suffering;
  • Loss of wages; and
  • Other economic losses related to your injury.

In 2016, Moldex-Metric Inc. filed a whistleblower lawsuit against 3M Company. The lawsuit alleged that the company was aware of the design defect but continued to supply the military with ineffective earplugs. 3M Company claimed it was innocent of any misconduct but still agreed to settle the lawsuit for $9.1 million. 3M Company valued profits over the well-being and health of military personnel. Rather than fix the earplugs or even disclose the defects to the military, 3M continued to distribute the earplugs.

How Our Law Firm Can Help You

The Lake Law Firm was founded by Edward J. Lake, Esq., a personal injury lawyer for over 25 years. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to seeking justice on behalf of those who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. Our experienced attorneys handle many different types of pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other defective products. The lawyers in our firm have helped collect millions of dollars for their clients. The Lake Law Firm will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation.

Liability Law and 3M Earplugs

  • Military personnel who used 3M Combat Arms V2 Earplugs between 2003 and 2015 may file a lawsuit for design, manufacturing, and marketing defects that resulted in permanent hearing damage.
  • 3M may also be liable for failing to warn the U.S. military that its earplugs could cause significant ear damage.