If you suffered hearing loss after using 3M earplugs while you served in the U.S. military anywhere between 2003 to 2015, you’re possibly eligible for receiving reimbursement through a San Diego 3M Earplug lawsuit.
The Minnesota-based 3M Company supplied the United States military with those specially designed earplugs. They were mainly used during combat to protect the hearing of soldiers. 3M made the earplugs to block out blasts, along with other extremely deafening noises when they were conducting tests on the bases as well. On the other hand, the earplugs were supposed to make certain that the soldiers could still hear anybody who spoke to them.
That said, 3M failed to notify the U.S. government that some of the earplugs were defective. For this reason, users could suffer from complete or partial hearing loss as they served in the military. As such, our proficient class action lawyers in San Diego believe that both veterans and active-duty staff ought to be compensated for this disservice.
Why Do 3M Earplugs Cause Hearing Damage?
Military personnel who served in areas of high conflict such as Afghanistan and Iraq used the 3M product in question during the period between 2003 to 2015. 3M designed the earplugs to permit free communication between soldiers while shielding against loud sounds and explosions. The earplugs were made by Aearo Tech and have were obtained in 2008 by 3M.
It was just after 10 years that someone stepped forward and warned about the defects of the design. After investigations, it was discovered that 3M compensated $9.1 million to the federal government to settle a lawsuit filed against them under the False Claims Act. 3M provided the product while being completely aware of design defects. Thankfully, all these earplugs have been discontinued.
The earplugs had an alleged defect that was based on their symmetrical design. The fitting instructions supplied could have resulted in the earplugs becoming loosened and readily allowing noise to enter.
What Are the Earplugs That Have Been Linked to Hearing Issues?
The faulty earplugs are the 3M dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs. These were used by service members between 2003 to 2015. The product’s design defect exposed them to the risk of suffering from complete or partial hearing loss.
Furthermore, soldiers filed record reports that suggested the earplugs were too short to correctly fit inside their ear. This led to external noise being able to create its way to the inner ear resulting in damage.
Personnel inside the armed forces are required to use earplugs to protect them against hearing loss. However, 3M earplugs were created to be inserted in two ways. When worn in the first position, they were supposed to protect the wearer from loud noises that came from vehicles, tanks, heavy equipment, roadside bombs, and gunfire. When worn in the other position, they promised to decrease artillery fire and explosions to just a muffle.
The 3M product was provided under contract and claimed that they’d protect the hearing abilities of individuals who wore them. Later on, several veterans came forward and made complaints which indicated that 3M wasn’t effective in disclosing the flaws and chance of wearers suffering severely from hearing loss.
The combat earplugs supplied by 3M were much shorter. This meant that they could not effectively fit into a human ear. This caused the earplugs to become quite loose with time and exposed everyone to hearing loss. Tinnitus, balance problems, and permanent hearing loss are a few of the long-term associated problems reported by veterans.
3M made bogus claims about their products and left everyone to think that their product offered sufficient protection. They also made them feel that they would be protected from hearing damage during their training. However, this wasn’t the case.
Who Can Take Part in a Lawsuit Over Faulty Earplugs Supplied By 3M?
If you are interested in submitting a lawsuit, you need to first be diagnosed with tinnitus by a medical professional. You ought to have also been discharged from the U.S. military or have a loss of hearing impairment rating based on the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. Additionally, you need to have also served from 2003 to 2015. Veterans and active staff could be compensated if they match the criteria.
What Is Military Hearing Loss Or Tinnitus?
Hearing loss is commonly reported by service members. They also occasionally suffer from tinnitus which creates a hissing, buzzing, or ringing sound inside their ears. When they are influenced by this condition, it becomes quite hard for them to listen to someone talking from three feet away.
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has estimated that there are close to 2.7 million veterans that are currently receiving disability for tinnitus or their hearing loss which came in their time serving. Tinnitus is quite common and may have been reported by persons who didn’t even know they had been wearing the earplugs by the 3M Company.
Just How Many Earplugs Did 3M Supply Under The Contract?
3M provided over 15,000 packages that contained 50 pairs of earplugs in every package. This was supplied every year from 2006 since they had a contract with the Department of Defense.
Have Any Lawsuits Been Filed Regarding Defective Earplugs From 3M?
A qui tam lawsuit was filed on account of their earplugs. They stated that it was alleged that 3M created incorrect and deceptive claims for its own product. Also, they didn’t disclose any of the flaws associated with the plan of their earplugs.
The Justice Department settled with 3M in 2018, where they received $9.1 million.
Service members may be entitled to compensation by accepting their own legal actions. During 2019, there have been hundreds of suits filed against 3M for the faulty earplugs.
Contact Our Attorneys About a San Diego 3M Earplug Lawsuit Today
The litigation against 3M by the government did not compensate service members. People who used the 3M earplugs while serving in the U.S. military anywhere between 2003 to 2015 and were diagnosed with hearing loss may be entitled to get compensation.
If you are wondering whether your hearing issues are a result of the faulty 3M earplugs, you should get in touch with any of our specially trained product liability lawyers. Our liability attorneys are experienced in dealing with these scenarios.