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What should I know about the lawsuit for 3M earplug hearing loss?


Earplug Hearing Loss Lawyers


McEldrew Young is currently accepting case reviews for any U.S. service member who was on active duty between 2003 and 2015 and suffered from hearing loss or tinnitus. For a free case review with a 3M defective earplugs lawyer, please call us today or complete the form on this page.


If you’ve been following up with recent media, you might have heard about the recent $9.1 milion agreement by 3M to compensation victims of hearing loss. The following is a brief overview about what you should understand.


The Problem

The lawsuit, initially filed by a whistleblower and later joined by the U.S. Department of Justice, claimed the  Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) made by 3M were knowingly defective because they can become loose while being worn; thereby, exposing the wearer to dangerous limits of sounds. This can result in temporary, long term, or permanent hearing loss.


3M Agrees to Pay $9.1 Million in Settlements


In July 2018, 3M agreed to pay back the government and a settlement worth $9.1 million to veterans. The agreement concluded the end to the lawsuit and resolved allegations against the company which involved them knowing about the product defect, failure to properly instruct the wearer, and manipulating initial testing.  


The U.S. Department of Defense alleged that 3M was aware of the  Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) being too short. This made it difficult for some of the wearers to fit the earplug adequate into the ear canal. According to the lawsuit 3M, and the initial maker Aearo, had been aware of the defect as early as 2000, but hide their knowledge from the government.


What Might Happen and Who is At Most Risk?


When the earplugs did not fit properly, sounds from explosions, aircraft, machinery, and gun fire may have entered into the ear canal; thereby causing:


  • An ongoing ringing in the ear (Tinnitus)
  • Hearing loss
  • Deafness


Who Used the  Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2)?


In 2003, 3M secured a contract with the Department of Defense worth millions of dollars. The contract agreed to supply all branches of the military with Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2). The earplugs were standard issue to service men and women who were involved in:


  • The Iraq War
  • The War in Afghanistan
  • The War in North-West Pakistan
  • The War in Somalia
  • Operation Ocean Shield
  • The Libyan Crisis
  • The American-led Intervention in Syria
  • The Yemen Civil War


All branches of the U.S. military wore these earplugs while in the above areas.


Has Your Hearing Been Damaged by Potentially Defective Earplugs?

According to the Veterans Affairs, hearing loss and hearing related problems is one of the most common long term medical conditions that military service members are facing. The consequences of hearing loss can be devastating and exacerbate the symptoms of PTSD and depression.

3M Earplug Lawyer

McEldrew Young is currently working with U.S. veterans who suffered hearing loss between 2003 and 2015. If you believe you wore these earplugs while station abroad, in combat zones, and you have hearing loss or tinnitus, we encourage you to call us for a free case review.


I suffered hearing loss while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Could I have a claim against 3M for their defective earplugs?  


Hearing Loss Caused by 3M Earplugs


In 2018, 3M settled a case against the U.S. Department of Justice. This case involved their 3M Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) which were found to be defective, but worn by all branches of U.S. Military personnel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.


In 2017, 1.9 million veterans were diagnosed with Tinnitus; another 1 million had suffered from hearing loss. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there has been a significant increase in hearing related problems over the last decade or so. This is likely related to the defective earplugs made by 3M.


3M Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2)  were worn by service men and women in the Army, Airforce, Marines, Navy, and other branches of the U.S Military between 2003 and 2015. Since this time, millions of veterans who were protecting the country have complained of hearing loss and a constant ringing in their ears.


Right now there are many veterans who think they cannot file a lawsuit against 3M because they have exceeded the time limits. Because the settlement was only reached and agreed to in 2018, it is certainly possible that anyone on active duty in the U.S. Military between 2003 and 2015, and who wore the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2), may be entitled to monetary compensation. A 3M defective earplugs lawyer from McEldrew Young should be sought as soon as possible.


How Are the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) Defective?


3M Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) are dual ended which means the wearer should have been protected in two different ways. One end fits into the canal of the ear and blocks out noises such as gunfire and explosions. The outer end sits outside of the ear canal and blocks noise before it enters the canal.


It was found, after investigation and a whistleblower claim, that the side of the earplug to fit inside the ear canal was too short. Once inside, it loosened and exposed the wearer to any surrounding noises. The loosening of the earplug was not noticeable which is why millions of personnel continued to wear them and thought their hearing was protected.


In combat zones, the noises are often intense and may include ongoing explosions, gunfire, machinery, and flying aircraft. Being subjected to these types of noises for extended periods of time can cause hearing loss and tinnitus. Conditions like these may be long term or permanent and are affecting millions of military personnel who were protecting the country. Now many of these veterans may be able to file a lawsuit against 3M for damages to cover pain and suffering.


Even though some veterans may not have used these earplugs in over a decade, it is possible to get legal advice on whether or not the ability to file a claim is an option. If you or someone you know wore CAEv2 earplugs by 3M, you should consult a 3M defective earplugs lawyer from McEldrew Young as soon as possible.


Can I file a lawsuit for 3M earplug hearing loss?


Lawsuit for 3M Earplug Hearing Loss

If you were an active duty member in any of the branches of the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015, you wore dual sided Combat Arms Earplugs made by 3M, and lost some or all of your hearing, you may be able to file a claim for monetary compensation through a lawsuit for 3M earplug hearing loss. To speak with a 3M defective earplug lawyer, please call McEldrew Young.


I Wore Combat Arms Earplugs While In the U.S. Military. How Do I Know If I was At Risk for Hearing Loss?

The reasons 3M has been ordered to compensate injured veterans is because they were contracted by the U.S. Defense to provide active duty personnel with earplugs that blocked out dangerous levels of sounds in combat zones. The problem is that these ear plugs were defective. Rather than keeping the military personnel’s ear canals and ear drums safe, the earplugs were too short to be inserted into the ears properly. This caused them to be unknowingly loosened, or in other words dislodged. Because of this, some people were exposed to dangerous levels of soundwaves.


Most people will be aware of all of some of their hearing loss; however, some might not have been diagnosed with the condition. In general, if you notice sensitivity in the ears, ringing in the ears, or distortions of sound, you should see a doctor for a hearing test. If you are diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and you believe you used these 3M earplugs between 2003-2015, it is possible that you may recover compensation through a lawsuit for 3M earplug hearing loss.


You should turn to a 3M defective earplug lawyer for further advice.


Did 3M Know?

According to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice, the corporation 3M has agreed to pay out $9.1 million in claims through lawsuits for 3M earplug hearing loss because they allegedly knew they were selling the defective earplugs to the United States Government. They also failed to disclose the product defect that reduces the effectiveness of the earplugs. The statement also disclosed that 3M was aware of the defect since 2000; however, continued to contract them to the military.


The Department of Veterans Affairs has also said that there has been a significant increase in both tinnitus and hearing loss claims made by veterans. What this means is that the safety of millions of U.S. servicemen and woman could have been compromised in favor of profits made by corporations. Nothing might be more displeasing than learning about this which is why you should consult a lawyer to find out how you can get justice through lawsuit for 3M earplug hearing loss.


At this time, 3M has paid back the government, but they have not reimbursed the injured veterans who might never hear normal sounds again. The company has been ordered to pay their victims, but it will be up to the victim to pursue compensation. 3M does not have to reach out to every veteran who suffered hearing loss. What this means is that if you have suffered hearing loss while in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015, you should not delay in reaching out to a 3M defective earplugs lawyer to potentially pursue a lawsuit for 3M earplug hearing loss.


What do I need to know about 3M combat earplug hearing loss claims?


Earplug Hearing Loss Lawyers

3M combat earplug hearing loss claims can raise a lot of questions for those who were injured from this defective product while serving in the United States military. When a whistleblower came forward recently, they revealed that 3M sold a particular brand and model of combat earplugs to the armed forces that were defective. From 2003 to 2015, the Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 CAEv2 are dual-ended and two-colored earplugs that 3M sold while knowingly aware that they offered no protection to wearers.


Though the Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 have since been discontinued, but they were responsible for many instances of hearing loss and deafness among military service members. This includes:


  •         Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars
  •         Air Force personnel
  •         Navy personnel
  •         Military personnel
  •         Reserve personnel who were stationed in the U.S. but fired weapons during training


Is There Compensation Available to Those Injured by 3M Combat Earplugs?

McEldrew Young works with individuals who suffered serious health issues or conditions as a result of using a defective product. We represent victims (plaintiffs) in 3M combat earplug hearing loss claims. These claims are filed against 3M, not the U.S. government or the U.S. military. Upon a successful claim, the injured service member who served between 2003 and 2015 may receive a substantial amount of compensation for their damages. Their damages might include ear surgery, medications, pain and suffering, and much more. For those who suffered permanent damage that cannot be reversed or heal completely, they may be eligible to receive the larger settlements.


What Were the 3M Combat Earplugs Used For?

3M was the only contractor authorized to supply the U.S. military with the combat earplugs. This is why the combat earplug hearing loss claims are focused on 3M. They sold millions of these earplugs to the military and as such, a substantial number of service members were possibly injured as a result of using them. The earplugs were dual use:


  •         One end of the earplugs, when inserted into the ear, was intended to block general sounds much like traditional earplugs for non-military use.
  •         The other end of the earplugs, when inserted into the ear, was intended to block loud sounds such as gunfire, rocket launchers, bombs, etc. but still allow the wearer to hear spoken communication in the nearby vicinity.


What Was the Nature of the Earplugs’ Defect?

The nature of the defect was that the earplugs loosened in the wearer’s ear. That loose fit allowed sounds to penetrate the earplugs and damage the wearer’s ear canal, causing damage or complete deafness. The original manufacturer of the earplugs had tested the earplugs and determined that they had a noise reduction rating of 0 instead of the 22 that they claimed to customers, and 3M (the company that purchased the original manufacturing company) admitted to knowing this.


How Can a Lawyer Help?

McEldrew Young represents victims who suffered ear damage as a result of using the defective earplugs. To learn more about whether or not you are eligible to join 3M combat earplug hearing loss claims, call our office today to request a free consultation.


What Should I Know About A Settlement with 3M for Hearing Loss Caused by Combat Earplugs?


Were in an active duty combat zone between the years of 2003 and 2015? Did you wear Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2)? Are you experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus? If so, you could be owed compensation and should speak to a lawyer about the settlement with 3M for hearing loss caused by Combat Earplugs.


In July 2018, a judge ordered 3M to pay $9.1 million settlement to those who have been affected by their Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) which were found to have been defective. The company admitted the product had a serious design affect which caused them to become loose in the ear. This unknowingly allowed in loud sounds into the ear canal, such as explosions, gun fire, and aircraft. For those who wore the earplugs and were affected by the defect, hearing loss and tinnitus is a very possible medical condition.


If you were serving in active duty in any branch of the military between 2003 and 2015, and suffering a hearing related medical problem, you may be entitled to a settlement, please call Mceldrew Young.


Who Used Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2)?

The Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) were standard issue earplugs to servicemen and servicewomen who were in the following:


  • The War in Afghanistan
  • The Iraq War
  • The War in North-West Pakistan
  • American-led intervention in Syria
  • Yemeni Civil War
  • War in Somalia
  • Operation Ocean Shield
  • American-led intervention in Libya


Hearing loss or a constant ringing in the ears can have a catastrophic impact on a person’s life. Tinnitus can cause the person to be unable to concentrate or sleep. Hearing loss can hinder the ability to communicate with others or maintain relationships. Exacerbated symptoms of PTSD, depression, and social isolation can ensue with either condition.


What the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Says

According to the Veteran Affairs, at least 2.7 million U.S. military veterans are receiving partial or full disability benefits for hearing loss or tinnitus. The number may be higher, as it is likely that some personnel have a delayed onset of symptoms or don’t notice them. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control suggest that:


  • Veterans have a 30 percent higher risk than non veterans to suffer from impaired hearing.
  • After 2014, at least 933,000 veterans were receiving disability benefits for hearing loss and 1.3 million veterans were receiving disability benefits for tinnitus.
  • Veterans who served in the military after September 2001 are 4 times more likely to have hearing loss.


Common Symptoms of Hearing Loss

The symptoms of hearing loss include:


  • Difficulty to communicate or understand speech
  • Difficulty to hear on the phone
  • Hearing mumbling
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Loss of balance

As a 3M hearing loss lawyer, we are committed to getting justice for your hearing loss or tinnitus. We are currently reviewing cases that involve 3M Dual-ended Combat Arms earplug (CAEv2). Compensation for medical care, physical damages, loss of income, and more may be available.


To find out if you have an option to receive a settlement with 3M for hearing loss caused by combat earplugs, please call us at McEldrew Young today.

3M Defective Combat Earplug Lawyers


If you are a US military active service member or veteran, you may have heard something about 3M combat earplug lawsuits that are occurring now in Pennsylvania. These have come about because 3M Company, a large American manufacturing company, sold the U.S. military millions of defective combat earplugs. McEldrew Young is accepting new clients who have suffered damages as a result of using this particular type of earplug. Specifically, the earplug type is the dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2). Primarily, this particular model of earplug caused many service members to experience catastrophic hearing loss as well as deafness. Other suffer tinnitus as a result of wearing the earplugs.


Whistleblower Allegations

Whistleblower allegations against U.S. military contractor 3M resulted in the company’s agreement to pay $9.1 million under the False Claims Act. This resolution occurred in July 2018. The crux of the matter was that 3M failed to reveal what they knew; that the design of their Combat Arms Earplugs were defective. Because of their defective nature, they were a dangerous and substandard product that they sold to the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015. This has resulted in 3M combat earplug lawsuits being filed by current and former military personnel who live in PA. McEldrew Young is here to help these individuals pursue fair compensation from the negligent company. Contact us immediately to find out more.


Earplug Description

The dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) were designed to be used by military service members while in combat. 3M combat earplug lawsuits in PA are specific to this model. The earplugs are yellow and olive colored and they offer two options:


  1.    When they are worn with the yellow side inserted in the ear, the plugs are intended to provide the wearer with continuous protection from noise resulting from explosions and weapons fire. However, they still allow the wearer to hear low level sounds such as commands or voices of other soldiers.
  2.    When they are worn with the olive side inserted in the ear, the plugs are intended to provide the wearer with noise that can be hazardous to their ears’ health.


The Defective Nature of the Earplugs

The original manufacturer of the earplugs, Aero Technologies, was eventually acquired by 3M. 3M has since admitted that they knew Aero Technologies was aware of the dangers of these defective earplugs as early as 2000. The nature of the defect is that the earplugs are prone to becoming loose when worn. As a result they do not form a tight seal over the ear canal; this prevents the earplugs from protecting the wearer from noises that can be very harmful to their health. Aero Technologies’ own testing of their product determined that the earplugs did not work and so they rated a noise reduction rating of 0. However, they and 3M labeled and sold the earplugs to the U.S. military with the claim that the noise reduction rating was 22.

Contact McEldrew Young Today

If you wore Combat Arms Earplugs and have suffered damaged hearing as a result, contact us today. Our lawyers can tell you if you are eligible to join one of the 3M combat earplug lawsuits in PA or to file on your own.

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