3M Military Earplug Lawsuit

Military PersonnelDid you suffer hearing loss and/or tinnitus after using 3M earplugs while serving in the U.S. military? Call the Arnold Law Firm to schedule a free case evaluation and learn if you may be eligible for compensation.

Those who served in combat and other active-duty missions received specially designed 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) as standard issue gear. These dual-ended earplugs were intended to provide the wearers with excellent hearing protection around aircraft, loud explosions and other excessive noises.

Unfortunately, the earplugs were defective and did not provide the level of protection advertised by 3M. As a result, thousands of military veterans sustained significant hearing damage or loss.

We are prepared to help military veterans hold product manufacturers liable for the harm caused by these defective earplugs. Our law firm has recovered over tens of millions in settlements and verdicts for injured victims, and we are prepared to fight for a maximum recovery for you.

The firm’s founder, Clayeo C. Arnold has been representing injured victims for more than 40 years. Mr. Arnold is also an active member of the Sacramento County Bar Association and State Bar of California.

Learn how we may be able to help. Call (916) 777-7777

Do I Have a Valid 3M Earplugs Case?

Before we can be sure of your eligibility, we must understand any relevant facts that could impact your claim. For this reason, we offer a free consultation to learn more about your situation and determine whether you have a case.

If you meet the following criteria, we recommend you connect with our law firm to discuss your potential legal options further:

  • Served on active-duty or reserves in any branch of the military between 2003-2015
  • Were a contractor for the Department of Defense (DOD) for one or more years between 2003-2015
  • Were given standard issue 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) during your tour of duty
  • Received a diagnosis of hearing loss and/or tinnitus in one or both ears within a year of discharge – or while serving
  • No prior history of hearing loss or tinnitus

Additional questions that we may ask to gain a clearer understanding about the extent of your hearing damage include:

  • Were you diagnosed with hearing damage from a medical doctor?
  • Is your hearing loss in both ears, or is it limited to one side?
  • Do you also suffer from tinnitus (ringing of the ears)?
  • What medical care have you received for your condition?
  • Has any treatment you received provided relief or improved your hearing?

We recommend discussing your potential legal options with our Sacramento defective product lawyers. Get answers to your questions about the legal process and more. We are here to help.

What Compensation Can Military Veterans Expect?

The amount of compensation a military veteran could receive for hearing loss will vary depending on the extent of the injury and prognosis for recovery. There are many considerations a qualified attorney must look at to ensure injured victims receive the maximum amount of compensation for their damages.

Types of compensation you could receive for your injuries to help you recover medical costs may include the expense of hearing aid devices, doctor fees, lost wages, diminished future earnings and more.

Even if you are uncertain about your eligibility for compensation, we recommend that you act fast. There are deadlines that apply, and if you wait too long, you could be barred from any recovery. There is no risk or cost to speak with one of our qualified attorneys about your situation.

Talk to a lawyer today. (916) 777-7777

How Did 3M’s Earplugs Become Standard Military Issue?

These earplugs were initially developed by Aearo Technologies. The documented protection of the CAEv2s led to an exclusive contract with the U.S. Government in 2003, making them standard military issue until 2015. This contract transitioned to the multinational manufacturing giant, 3M, after it acquired Aearo Technologies in 2008.

How Were the CAEv2s Designed to Work?

The dual-ended CAEv2s offered two levels of protection, distinguishable by color. The olive-colored end offered fuller protection, blocking out extreme noises, such as explosions, artillery and loud aircraft engines. The yellow-colored end reportedly filtered out dangerous noise levels, while allowing service members to hear lower sounds, like command orders, nearby.

The CAEv2 Earplug Design Was Defective

The original CAEv2 earplugs were problematic for services members as they did not fit well under military helmets. To mitigate this problem, the design was modified, making the stem of the earplug shorter.

While this made it possible for the earplugs to fit under a helmet, the redesigned CAEv2s remained flawed. The shorter stems no longer extended far enough into the ear canal to create an airtight seal – a must to guarantee the earplugs worked.

Did 3M Know About the CAEv2 Flaws?

There is enough verifiable documentation to support the likelihood that 3M did have full knowledge of the CAEv2s’ defects as early as 2000.

A whistleblower lawsuit was brought by Moldex Metric, Inc. in 2016, accusing 3M and Aearo Technologies of committing fraud against the government.

According to findings revealed by the lawsuit, 3M:

  • Knew or should have known about the CAEv2 defects
  • Was aware the CAEv2 flaws diminished the earplugs’ effectiveness and could cause the wearers to suffer hearing loss
  • Continued to sell the CAEv2s to the U.S. government, without disclosing the defects, for more than a decade

In 2018, 3M settled the whistleblower lawsuit for $1.9 million and yet continued to deny any wrongdoing.

As a result of the defective earplugs, thousands of military service members have since suffered tinnitus and various levels of hearing loss – including partial or permanent hearing impairment.

Cases Currently Pending for the 3M Military Earplugs

There are three bellwether trials planned for the 3M earplug multidistrict litigation (MDL), the first of which has already begun in Florida. The outcomes of these trials give litigators for both sides an understanding about how future cases may unfold.

As of April 15, 2021, there are 229,111 cases pending, which makes this MDL one of the largest in U.S. history. If successful for the plaintiffs, it could strengthen potential settlements in other cases.

If you have a valid case, it is still possible to join the MDL, even though the first bellwether trial is in process. If you are unsure whether you are eligible, we recommend speaking with a member of our legal team. Initial consultations are a no-cost, no-obligation, no-risk way to learn if you have a case.

Our Law Firm is Prepared to Help. Call Today

At the Arnold Law Firm, we are dedicated to protecting the injured from manufacturers who fail to disclose information about their defective products.

If you used the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2, our lawyers are ready to help. You may be eligible to pursue compensation to help cover your medical costs, lost wages, and your pain and suffering. We are prepared to fight for a maximum recovery on your behalf.

There is no cost to talk to a lawyer about your potential case, no upfront fees if we take on a case and no fees while we investigate and work on a case.

Free Case Evaluation. Millions Recovered. (916) 777-7777