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 Purtell Merritt 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 Purtell Merritt as soon as possible.