3M Combat Arms™ Earplugs Lawsuit
If you or a loved one was a U.S. military service member, veteran or contractor between 2003 and 2015 who was diagnosed with partial or total hearing loss or suffer from tinnitus, you may have a claim against 3M.
Servicemembers may be entitled to significant recovery for hearing loss or tinnitus due to allegedly defective 3M military-issued earplugs
Between 2003 and 2015, 3M manufactured the Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs that were distributed to thousands of military personnel. In a recent settlement agreement with the United States Department of Justice, 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that they knowingly sold defective earplugs to the U.S. military. These settlement proceeds will not be distributed to military personnel. Our law firm, along with experienced referral law firm partners, are pursuing civil lawsuits to obtain compensation for hearing loss damages.
Specifically, if you or a loved one was a U.S. military service member, veteran or contractor between 2003 and 2015 who was diagnosed with partial or total hearing loss or suffer from tinnitus, you may have a claim against 3M.
How were the earplugs defective?
Hearing loss and tinnitus are some of the most common ailments suffered by military personnel. The Veterans Administration has reported that there were over 1.6 million veterans seeking medical care for chronic tinnitus in just the last year!
The earplugs were designed so that they could be used on one end as traditional earplugs (yellow end) or flipped around (black or green end) to protect against louder noises such as explosions and gunfire. The Department of Justice alleged that 3M knew the earplugs did not fit well as they were too short or would loosen in some users' ears to the point that they were unable to effectively mitigate excessive noise thereby causing the exact type of ear damage they were expressly designed to alleviate. There were additional allegations that 3M manipulated test results in order to comply with government standards.
Multidistrict litigation vs. class actions
There has been some confusion concerning this litigation, with many mistakenly thinking this is a class action. As noted above, these lawsuits against 3M have been consolidated into Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). MDL is similar to a class action in that it provides for a more efficient handling of similar claims filed by a large number of people. Whereas a class action is a single case with several plaintiffs, an MDL is comprised of multiple individual cases that are grouped together and moved to a single court. This allows for one judge who is familiar with the details affecting all of the cases (in this case U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rogers) to oversee the proceedings and move things along at a quicker pace.
You may be entitled to compensation
If you or a loved one were a U.S. military service member, veteran or contractor between 2003 and 2015 who was diagnosed with partial or total hearing loss or suffer from tinnitus, we're here to help. Fill out the intake form on this page for a free and no-obligation review of your case. We’ll help you determine if you have a claim, navigate the process, and maximize your potential compensation often without ever stepping foot in court. If you do not receive a recovery through a lawsuit or settlement, you don’t owe us anything.