Defective Combat Earplugs were given to U.S. Military personnel between 2003-2015. 3M was forced to pay $9.1 Million for supplying defective products.
If you served in the U.S. Armed Forces anytime between 2003 and 2015, you may have been at risk for hearing loss due to defective earplugs. During that time, military supplier 3M provided troops with the CAEv2 (Combat Arms Earplugs version 2), which the government has now charged was defective in allowing dangerous noise exposure.
The CAEv2 earplugs are double ended, and were originally designed to allow use either as a full blockage plug or asa partially-opened plug that allowed the user to hear voice commands and surrounding noises.
However, reports show the defective design of these plugs rendered them too short for many service members’ ear canals, causing them to come loose and allow harmful gunfire or blast noises to penetrate into the ears at close range.
Veterans may now file claims for substantial compensation. Those with tinnitus or hearing loss may be eligible.
In 2016, the Department of Justice joined in a lawsuit against 3M, alleging the company knew as early as 2000 that the earplugs it had developed and would submit for military approval were defective.
The case even alleged that Aearo Technologies, a subsidiary of 3M that developed the CAEv2 earplugs, manipulated internal testing and falsified test results to obtain levels of effectiveness that would satisfy military standards.
In July 2018, 3M agreed to pay $9.1 Million to settle these claims filed by whistleblowers and the Department of Justice. And, although the settlement doesn’t compensate veterans who were the victims of hearing loss, they are now free to pursue individual claims of their own.
Lawyers have already begun investigating claims against 3M Company for supplying defective earplugs that may have subjected veterans to hearing loss or damage.
If you or a loved one were affected, it’s important to talk with a lawyer about your options. The process is simple and won’t cost you anything unless you’re able to receive an award from your case.
Also, these lawsuits can usually be filed without you ever having to leave your home or attend court hearings.
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There are four basic types of hearing loss or damage:
If you’ve suffered from any of these types of hearing damage after service in the military, it may be due to exposure to loud noises as a result of ineffective combat earplugs. It’s important to speak with your doctor and consult with a lawyer about your rights.