Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Has Been Linked to Defective Military Earplugs
HAS YOUR HEARING BEEN AFFECTED AFTER USING COMBAT ARMS EARPLUGS™ WHILE IN THE MILITARY?
3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs were issued to many soldiers between 2003 and 2015 including those deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs, now no longer in production, were given to thousands of men and women in the armed services, without knowing their defects – putting these proud service members at risk for permanent hearing loss, damage, or impairment.
The earplugs at issue, Combat Arms CAEv2 Earplugs, Version 2 were manufactured and sold by 3M Company. A recent whistle blower lawsuit alleged that 3M sold these earplugs while knowing that they were defective. 3M Company has agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Justice over $9 Million for violation the False Claims Act.
WHAT ALLEGEDLY WENT WRONG WITH THE EARPLUGS?
3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs were designed and marketed as multi-use earplugs. The company claimed that the earplugs could either be used as standard earplugs or they could be turned around to provide the user with normal hearing while at the same time protecting the eardrums from gunfire or explosions.
A whistle blower action against 3M claimed that the earplugs did not function as described. Specifically, the claim alleged that the were too short for proper insertion into the user’s ears. Gradually, the earplugs would loosen and become completely useless to the person wearing the device.
One of the most striking allegations of the claim was that 3M, and its predecessor Aero Technologies allegedly knew of these design problems when they failed to meet the required specifications set forth by the U.S. government.
3M agreed to pay $9.1 Million to resolve these allegations, though the company admitted to no wrongdoing. The individuals harmed by these earplugs are not entitled to any of this settlement amount and will need to file a separate action to recover.
If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus and have used 3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs, please contact The Lampin Law Firm L.L.C. immediately to discuss your potential case. There is no fee for your initial consultation.