Earplugs help dull loud noises to prevent damage to the eardrum. Though the intention is to quiet the noise around you, if they are designed incorrectly, they could permanently quiet that noise because they cause you hearing loss. That’s proven to be the case with 3M’s Combat Arms earplugs. They’ve caused soldiers to lose hearing even though they were supposed to protect their hearing.
If you’ve used these earplugs, then you could be part of the 3M Combat Arms earplugs lawsuit. At Thomas Law Offices, our experienced lawyers are dedicated to getting victims of defective products the justice they deserve. You were owed a duty of care, and since the manufacturer knowingly distributed this product, they broke that duty. Our attorneys are prepared to get you in on this class action lawsuit so you can get the compensation you’re owed.
Table of Contents
3M Combat Arms Earplugs Deemed Defective
3M was sued in 2016 by Moldex-Metric Inc. for their fraudulent sales of these Combat Arms earplugs to the United States Military. The lawsuit came from 3M knowingly selling these defective earplugs to the military, which means they knowingly put soldiers at risk of hearing damage and loss.
Allegations include 3M distributing these earplugs to the army when they falsify testing and reports for their efficiency. They’ve been accused of testing the Combat Arms earplugs, getting poor results that show hearing loss can occur, falsifying reports to say they’re effective, and then selling them to the United States military for use to supposedly protect soldiers’ ears.
The false claims are where 3M’s problems lie. Had they honestly reported on how the earplugs work, or don’t work, they likely wouldn’t be in this position. But since they allegedly falsified the reports and knowingly sold them to the military for use, they’re on the hook for the damages they’ve caused.
If you’ve been in the military, used these earplugs, and suffered damages, then you could use the help of our 3M Combat Arms earplugs lawyer. We’ll investigate if you’re able to join the mass tort lawsuit against 3M for their defective product.
What’s Wrong with the Earplugs’ Design?
The design of the 3M Combat Arms earplugs seemed ideal for soldiers in warzones or in training scenarios. They are double-ended with one side colored olive and the other yellow. According to 3M, when the olive side was inserted into the ear canal, the soldiers were protected from all sounds. When the yellow side was inserted, the earplugs were supposed to protect against the sound of explosions, but they would still be able to hear commanders’ orders or the sounds of people moving.
However, as it turns out, the design did not work effectively. 3M’s testing results were falsified, saying the earplugs did exactly what they were advertised to do, but the testing did not actually prove that. The earplugs allowed loud sounds through the earplug, which was the opposite of what they were supposed to do.
These design defects are what lead to the hearing loss and other side effects from soldiers’ use. More specifically, the problem was that the stem of the earplugs was not as long as it needed to be. Since it was too short, it didn’t properly fit in and block a soldier’s ear canal from the noise.
In early designs, there were rims on the un-inserted side that would tighten the fit and ensure they didn’t loosen and break the seal, but they were removed. Tests showed these rims would improve the design but failed to bring them back or listen to test results showing the design was defective.
This decision to sell the earplugs while knowing their design was defective and didn’t actually seal the ear canal is why this mass tort litigation case exists.
Who Can Join the Class Action Lawsuit?
Now that you understand where the problem was with the earplugs and how they were defective, you’ll need to know what criteria you’ll need to meet in order to join the mass litigation. Over a thousand people have taken legal action against 3M for their earplugs causing them hearing loss, and you could be one more.
When you have an attorney on your side, the first thing they’ll do is work to ensure you meet the criteria for joining the class action lawsuit. Here are some of the critical aspects you’ll need to have in your case in order to be eligible to join the 3M Combat Arms earplugs lawsuit:
- Served in the military between 2003 and 2015
- Suffered partial or permanent hearing loss during your service
- Diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus
It’s essential to your claim that you can prove you served in the United States military during that time and that you have been diagnosed with hearing loss or other complications that could point to the defective earplugs. Without those elements, you might not have a successful case.
The best way to determine if you have a case or not is to hire an attorney. At Thomas Law Offices, our 3M Combat Arms earplugs attorney is here to answer all your questions and help you figure out how you can get in on the lawsuit.
Veterans and Service Members Who Could Have Used These Earplugs
Being deployed is difficult enough as a soldier. You’re far away from home, fighting, and going through a lot of stressful situations when you’re deployed to a warzone. You want the best gear possible to protect you from all dangers in an area with fighting happening.
That’s why 3M’s earplugs seemed like a great product—one side shields you from all noise, and the other was supposed to cushion from explosions but still allow you to hear others around you. Protecting your hearing while deployed is essential.
That’s why it’s so devastating that these earplugs were defective and knowingly sold to the military. Soldiers who currently serve, or veterans who previously served, in these conflicts could have a case and join the 3M Combat Arms earplugs lawsuit:
- The Iraq War
- The War in Afghanistan
- Indian Ocean Engagement
- The War on Terror
- The War in Somalia
- The War in North-West Pakistan
- The Libya Crisis
- The Yemen Civil War
- Interventions in Iraq from 2014 until 2021
- Interventions Syria from 2014 until now
If you served in any of these military engagements between 2003 and 2015, you could have used the 3M Combat Arms earplugs around explosions, firing weapons, and other loud actions that happen during combat. At Thomas Law Offices, we’re dedicated to getting you justice for the damages you’ve suffered at the hand of a negligent manufacturer.
That’s why you can trust our 3M Combat Arms earplugs lawyer to represent you. If you think your hearing loss could have been caused by these earplugs, then you should contact our office so we can answer your questions and determine if you have a case.
Symptoms from 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Defects
Once you’ve determined that you served during the affected time, you’re probably wondering what symptoms you should be looking for to know for sure that you’re eligible to file a claim. Over the years, it’s likely you’ve sought medical attention for symptoms like these after using the defective 3M Combat Arms earplugs:
- Hearing loss
- Having trouble hearing someone talking to you
- Having trouble understanding what someone is saying to you
- Ringing and buzzing in ears, or tinnitus
- Full feeling in ears after leaving a loud space
- Loss of balance
All these symptoms can change your life. When you suffer from hearing loss, that drastically impacts your way of living and could even affect your quality of life. Not only could the hearing loss cause you initial medical costs, but you could also need to pay for specialists, medical equipment, and other costs related to hearing loss.
What’s most important is that you seek medical treatment so that you have a record of these symptoms and dates to correlate to when they potentially started. If you can trace them back to your time in the service when you were using these defective earplugs, then you could have a case.
This all can be incredibly frustrating—you were instructed by the military to use these earplugs that were falsely advertised to the United States Government as being effective. That’s were our 3M Combat Arms hearing loss lawyers come in. We’re here to represent you and ensure you get justice so you can go back to focusing on your life after all these years.
How Much Could I Receive in My Settlement?
Of course, our lawyers can’t promise you a specific amount in compensation for what you’ve been through because it all depends. Your personal evidence, including medical bills and equipment costs, will all help us calculate what you’re specifically owed in damages for your hearing loss or other injuries from the defective earplugs.
Over the years, 3M has been ordered to pay millions in settlements for their selling of the knowingly defective products. Since they falsified the reports of their effectiveness, they are responsible for the damages done. Because of this, you could recover the damages you incurred from the hearing loss their products caused you.
Our 3M Combat Arms defective earplugs attorney will calculate what you’re owed economically and noneconomically, or your physical and abstract costs, respectively. Your economic damages are the bills that you incurred for treatment, missing work, medical equipment, general bills, and any other costs you’ve had to pay because of your injuries.
Your noneconomic damages are more abstract. They are the costs of the emotional toll the injuries have had on you, like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional turmoil, and lower quality of life. Our lawyers will collect all your evidence so that we can determine exactly what you’re owed in these damages.
Punitive damages could also potentially be on the table because 3M knowingly sold the U.S. military these defective earplugs. That means you could receive even more in compensation to punish the company for their gross negligence. Our lawyers can help you determine exactly what you’re owed and fight for you to receive full and fair compensation.
Thomas Law Offices Will Fight for You Because You Fought for Us
At Thomas Law Offices, we understand how stressful a job in the military can be—especially when you’re deployed into an active warzone. You expect your equipment to be high-end and as effective as possible. When that’s not the case, that could be the difference between life and death.
Our lawyers can help you with your 3M Combat Arms earplugs lawsuit. We’re here to build your case so that you can financially recover from your time using their defective products. Reach out to our office today so we can get started working for you right away.