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 Purtell Merritt 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 Purtell Merritt 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.