Defective Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs Caused Hearing Loss and Tinnitus in Service Men and Women
Hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the leading disabilities suffered by military personnel. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), 1,786,980 veterans received disability benefits for tinnitus and 1,157,585 received payments for hearing loss in 2017. Unfortunately, many of our service men and women are suffering from these life-altering disabilities because of the earplugs they wore while they served. If you developed hearing loss or tinnitus and wore 3M dual-ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs Version 2, you may have a claim against their manufacturer for compensation.
What Are Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs?
The 3M dual-ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs Version 2 were sold to the military by the 3M Company and were used by military personnel who served in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2003 and 2015. These earplugs were designed to be used in two ways. They could be inserted one way to enable a wearer to hear speech, and another way to provide additional hearing protection.
Unfortunately, these earplugs did not work as promised. They were too short to be properly inserted and could gradually and subtly loosen when being worn. As a result, military personnel were unknowingly exposed to noise levels that could permanently damage their hearing.
Hearing Problems That May Be Related To Wearing Wearing 3M Earplugs
Exposure to loud noises, which is common in combat areas, is a major cause of hearing loss. Service men and women who wore defective 3M Defective Combat Arms™ Earplugs Version 2 have developed two types of hearing problems.
Tinnitus is a condition in which the sufferer hears ringing or other noises in their head when no outside noises are present. Ringing, buzzing, clicking, and roaring are some of the symptoms of this condition. The noise can vary in pitch and volume and can be heard periodically or all the time. It can also worsen as individuals get older. Complications include loss of sleep, inability to concentrate, depression, anxiety, and irritability.
Service men and women have also suffered hearing loss as a result of wearing these defective earplugs. Surgery and medication can help restore some of their hearing, but others will suffer permanent hearing loss. This can limit their ability to work, to communicate with family and friends, and cause mental health problems, such as depression.
3M Settles Justice Department Lawsuit for $9.1 Million
A whistleblower lawsuit was brought against 3M, the manufacturer of dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, claiming that they sold these earplugs to the military knowing they could loosen and failed to warn of the dangers of tinnitus and hearing loss. It was also alleged that 3M manipulated the test results to make it appear that the earplugs met military standards.
In July 2018, 3M settled the lawsuit with the Department of Justice for $9.1 million without admitting liability. These funds are to be paid to reimburse the government for what it spent on these defective earplugs. It will not compensate military personnel who suffered hearing damage due to wearing them.
Your Right to Compensation If You Suffered Hearing Loss or Tinnitus After Wearing 3M Earplugs
If you were deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq from 2003 to 2015 and were issued the 3M dual-ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs Version 2, you may have a product liability claim against 3M if you have experienced hearing loss or tinnitus. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. This may be true even if you receive disability benefits for this condition.
In order to obtain what you deserve, you will need to file a civil lawsuit against 3M. Product liability claims are complicated, and 3M is a large corporation that will fight hard to deny or reduce claims brought by other military personnel and you.
Are you a member of the U.S. military who lives in Georgia or South Carolina? The experienced personal injury attorneys of Chris Hudson & Associates are here to help you prove that your dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs were defective and that 3M knew this when they sold them to the U.S. government.
Are You Experiencing Tinnitus Or Hearing Loss And Wore 3M Earplugs?
We will aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve. We handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will only owe us fees when we settle your case or win at a jury trial.
To learn more about your legal rights contact us online or call our office at (706) 863-6600 or to schedule your free consultation today.