3M Earplugs Lawyer

Due to the recent 3M settlement, please note that we are no longer pursuing new 3M Earplug clients.

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 is faulty. 3M earplug lawyers are working with active service members and veterans who claim the earplugs damaged their hearing. 

The Lake Law Firm is currently handling 3M earplug lawsuits on behalf of individuals who used 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms V2 Earplugs from 3M and Aearo Technologies Inc. Individuals allege that the earplugs are defective and cause serious injuries, including tinnitus and hearing loss. The 3M earplug lawyers at our firm admire military members for the sacrifices they have made. We are honored to fight for service members who bravely fought for us. Contact us today at (888) 525-3529 or by filling out the free case evaluation form on this page if you suffered hearing damage after using 3M earplugs.

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 them in 2008.

Why Are People Filing 3M Earplug Lawsuits?

Thousands of service members and veterans have enlisted the help of 3M earplug lawyers in seeking justice against 3M. The Dual-Ended Combat Arms earplugs provide users with two options. The olive-colored end blocked all sounds, 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 the earplugs to become loose, rendering them unable to protect the user’s hearing.

3M Earplugs Injuries

3M had an exclusive contract to supply the U.S. military with its earplugs from 2003 to 2012. Military bases across the country received 3M earplugs, and by 2004, all deployed soldiers were provided with 3M earplugs. However, the defective 3M Combat Arms V2 Earplugs may cause hearing loss and tinnitus.

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is the total or partial loss of hearing. Age, disease, and medications are some factors that may contribute to hearing loss. In the case of 3M earplugs, users could not insert the earplugs deeply enough into the ear canal, which left them vulnerable to loud noises. Unfortunately, while hearing aids or surgery can help, hearing loss is incurable.


Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing sound in one or both ears. The symptoms of tinnitus include:

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

Effects on Mental Health

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. Both disorders can interfere with a person’s daily life, making it difficult to interact socially and limiting career opportunities. 

The Lake Law Firm is here to support those harmed by 3M earplugs. If you used 3M earplugs during your time in the military and were diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus, please reach out today.

What Do We Know About 3M Earplug Lawsuits?

3M earplugs reportedly failed to block out loud noises from aircraft, artillery, and explosives. Individuals in the military are exposed to deafening sounds daily. Therefore, reliable earplugs are needed to shield service members from hearing damage. But 3M’s alleged design failure resulted in permanent hearing loss for hundreds of thousands of service members. Over 220,000 lawsuits have been filed against 3M, making it the largest mass tort litigation in history.

3M stopped manufacturing the Dual-Ended Combat Arms V2 Earplugs in 2015. Shortly after, 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 asserted it was innocent of any misconduct but still agreed to settle the lawsuit for $9.1 million.

By 2018, individuals claiming hearing loss and tinnitus had begun filing 3M earplug lawsuits. Military personnel have filed claims for design, manufacturing, and marketing defects. These lawsuits argue that 3M knew the earplugs were defective but chose to conceal this information from the military.

3M Bankruptcy Plan

As 3M earplug claims continued to grow at an unprecedented pace, the company resorted to a controversial bankruptcy plan.

In July 2022, 3M Co. announced its subsidiary, Aearo Technologies, had filed for bankruptcy. Through this bankruptcy, 3M planned to set aside $1 billion to settle all remaining 3M earplug lawsuits. Even though the company claimed the bankruptcy would fairly and quickly resolve cases, the trust would only leave plaintiffs with roughly $5,000 each for their injuries. 3M earplug lawyers accused the multibillion-dollar company of only using the bankruptcy to dodge more lawsuits. 

Yet, in August, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jeffrey J. Graham ruled that cases against 3M may proceed parallel to Aearo Technologies’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 3M objected to this ruling and filed for an appeal in December 2022. 

A veterans committee filed to dismiss Aearo Technologies’ bankruptcy in February 2023. The group pointed out that because 3M based its strategy on Johnson & Johnson’s bankruptcy plan, which was recently dismissed, it should also be thrown out. Similar to 3M, Johnson & Johnson faced thousands of cases and lost billions in verdicts. J&J attempted a bankruptcy ploy to avoid more talcum powder lawsuits. But the plan failed after a bankruptcy court found that neither J&J nor its subsidiary were in financial distress. 

In June 2023, Judge Graham dismissed Aearo Technologies’ bankruptcy. Although 3M immediately appealed this ruling, if Judge Graham’s ruling stands, we could see litigation in the MDL resume, including future 3M earplug trials.

Status of 3M Earplug Claims

As of August 2023, there were currently 259,385 3M earplug claims pending in federal court. We are still awaiting a decision on 3M’s appeal of the decision to dismiss Aearo Technologies’ bankruptcy.

3M Earplug Settlements and Verdicts

So far, plaintiffs have won large 3M earplug settlement amounts. There have been a total of sixteen bellwether trials between March 2021 and May 2022. These test trials help 3M earplug lawyers understand how juries view claims that these earplugs cause hearing loss and tinnitus. Ten bellwether trials resulted in significant 3M earplug verdicts, awarding hundreds of millions to plaintiffs. 

  • May 2021: $7.1 million
  • June 2021: $1.1 million
  • September 2021: $8.2 million
  • November 2021: $13 million
  • November 2021: $22.5 million
  • January 2022: $110 million
  • May 2022: $8 million
  • March 2022: $50 million
  • April 2022: $2.2 million
  • May 2022: $77.5 million

In August 2023, 3M announced a $6.01 billion settlement to resolve over 250,000 3M earplug lawsuits. However, this 3M settlement has not been approved yet by the courts.

How Much Can I Recover in a 3M Earplug Lawsuit?

There is no one answer to how much you can collect in a claim against 3M. Many factors can influence the outcome of your case, including:

  • What type of injury you developed after using 3M earplugs
  • The extent of your injury
  • How your injury has impacted your life

However, it is important to remember that every situation is unique and estimates are not guaranteed. Speak with a 3M earplug lawyer today for a free case evaluation.

What Type of Compensation Could a 3M Earplug Lawyer Help Me Recover?

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.

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. A 3M earplug lawyer will advocate for you and your rights. Please contact us for a free confidential case evaluation at (888) 525-3529 or submit an inquiry on this page.