3M Military Earplug Lawsuits

Hearing Loss or Tinnitus Caused by 3m CAEv2 Ear Plugs? Call (888) 367-7160

undefinedVeterans who served in the U.S. military and suffered hearing loss, tinnitus, and other injuries or disabilities as a result of using earplugs sold by 3M have begun filing lawsuits against the company. As alleged in their lawsuits, and a False Claims Act case brought by the U.S. government, 3M sold dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) with known defects it failed to disclose.

If you have served in the military and used the 3M CAEv2 earplugs, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered. 3M has already settled its whistleblower lawsuit with the U.S. Justice Department over allegations that the company, and its predecessor Aearo Technologies Inc., violated the False Claims Act when it sold earplugs it knew contained defects.

Because that settlement does not provide compensation for injured service members or vets, those who were harmed after using 3M Combat earplugs will need to file their own claims to seek a recovery of their damages. Our national team of trial attorneys at Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC is here to help.

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BCH is a Texas-based law firm with a national reputation for protecting the rights of injured victims in complex cases against major corporations. We’re available to personally discuss your potential case, legal options, and how we can help. Call (888) 367-7160 for a free consultation.

About the 3M CAEv2 Earplugs: Do You Have a Case?

Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) were made for the U.S. armed forces. However, claims that the earplugs are defective – allegedly being too short to be properly inserted into a person’s ears, and prone to becoming loose without the user noticing – suggest that thousands of service members and veterans may have suffered serious and life-altering injuries as a result.

You may have a potential claim if the following applies:

  • You used Combat earplugs during either active-duty combat or military training exercises;
  • The Combat earplugs were used between the years of 2003 and 2015; and
  • Victims suffered hearing-related medical conditions, including hearing loss, tinnitus, and other related injuries or disabilities.

Noise-induced hearing loss, and related injuries, can have life-long repercussions for victims and their loved ones. While it can occur immediately, it may also progress for years until it becomes noticeable. Sounds less than 75 decibels (similar to what’s produced by motorcycles) are considered safe, but higher-decibel sounds – including those to which service members are routinely exposed in combat, weapons and heavy artillery training, and other areas of service – far exceed safe levels.

For these reasons, the need for effective ear protection is crucial. Unfortunately, when those protections fail to work as intended, victims face risks of hearing loss, which medical experts define as:

  • Mild – Mild hearing loss can make it difficult to hear conversations when there is background noise, which can be disruptive for those with certain jobs and in their day-to-day lives.
  • Moderate – People with moderate hearing loss often need to ask those they speak with to repeat themselves in conversations, whether that’s in person or over the phone.
  • Severe – Being able to hear another person without interruption and follow a conversation becomes nearly impossible without the use of hearing aids / medical assistive devices.
  • Profound – Profound hearing loss is life-altering. It often means being unable to hear when others speak, unless conversation is extremely loud. It also usually requires the use of hearing aids or medical devices such as cochlear implants to cope with the demands of daily living.

3M discontinued the Combat earplugs in 2015, but many lawsuits are just now being filed. Our firm can help you better understand whether you may have a potential claim, assist you with finding supporting evidence or medical treatment you may need, and work toward the financial recovery you deserve.

The 3M False Claims Act Case: Not a Source of Compensation for Victims

As noted in a U.S. Department of Justice press release from July of 2018, 3M Company agreed to pay $9.1 million to settle allegations over its dual-ended CAEv2 earplugs. While the case was resolved for a substantial sum, it concerns only the False Claims Act (FCA), a federal law which imposes liability on individuals and companies / contractors that defraud federal government programs.

As the Justice Department alleged in the case, the fraudulent conduct of 3M, which acquired Aero Technologies and its Combat earplugs in a $1.2 billion purchase in 2008, amounted to:

  • Selling the Combat earplugs to the U.S. military without disclosing known defects which hampered their effectiveness; and
  • Selling earplugs they knew were too short to be inserted properly into users’ ears, and which could loosen imperceptibly so that they did not perform well for certain individuals.

The FCA is an enforcement tool, and it allows the U.S. government to recover fraudulent payments, and impose various penalties. In short, the settlement in the 3M DOJ case does not provide a viable source of compensation to victims harmed as a result of using the allegedly defective Combat earplugs.

Your Rights as a Victim: Seeking Justice Through a Civil Lawsuit

Since the settlement between 3M and the Justice Department offers no recompense for victims, service members and veterans who experienced hearing loss, tinnitus, and other conditions as a result of using the Combat earplugs will need to file personal injury lawsuits of their own. These lawsuits involve product liability, an area of law in which Bailey Cowan Heckaman LLC has become nationally recognized.

Over the years, our team has helped victims and families secure millions of dollars in compensation for injuries and deaths caused by defectively designed, manufactured, and marketed products, as well as the negligence of companies that knew about defects which could prove hazardous to the health and safety of those who used their products, but failed to properly address the issue and keep users safe.

These claims are notably complex, and they require the experience, resources, and determination of a proven litigation practice in order to ensure accountability and hold powerful corporations liable for the full scope of damages suffered by clients, which may include:

  • Physical pain and suffering / lasting and permanent impairments.
  • Lost income or lost earning ability caused by hearing loss or other hearing conditions (i.e. not being able to work certain jobs due to a decreased ability to hear or follow instructions).
  • Medical bills resulting from treatment victims obtained, as well as any future medical needs, such as the need for hearing aids, surgical procedures, cochlear implants or medical devices, medications, and other expenses arising from the injury.
  • Emotional injuries, including mental anguish and lost quality or enjoyment of life (i.e. not being able to participate in an activity or hobby as a result of one’s injuries).
  • Emotional injuries suffered by loved ones, such as loss of consortium or support experienced by a spouse whose ability to communicate with a significant other is impeded by their injury.

Call (888) 367-7160 to Speak with an Attorney During a FREE Consultation

Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC is comprised of attorneys equipped with the experience, resources, and unwavering determination required of difficult product liability cases, and is prepared to fight for the brave men and women who selflessly served and fought for our country. As a firm driven by values, we believe in the work we do, and are passionate about fighting for victims’ lives and livelihoods.

If you have questions about a potential case involving 3M Combat earplugs, hearing loss, and / or other injuries, call (888) 367-7160 or contact us online. BCH serves clients nationwide, and offers FREE and confidential consultations.

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