3M knowingly produced and sold defective earplugs to the U.S. military. In 2018, the company settled with the Department of Defense for $9.1 million. This settlement; however, did not account for the hearing damage sustained by countless veterans, nor did it compensate those with ailments.
At Monge & Associates, we are dedicated to pursuing justice and damages on behalf of the veterans who sustained hearing problems and personal losses after using defective 3M earplugs.
Hearing Problems Common Among Veterans
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), hearing problems are the most prevalent service-connected disabilities among American veterans.
Hearing problems include:
- Hearing loss (both reversible and permanent)
- Tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears)
- Loss of balance
Damage to one’s hearing can significantly impact their quality of life. With a condition like tinnitus, for example, many veterans have difficulty focusing on employment tasks and conversations.
If you are suffering from tinnitus or any of the above conditions and you served between 2003 and 2015, your injuries may have been caused by 3M earplugs.
3M Earplugs Failed to Protect
From 2003 to 2015, a span that includes wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, service members were given 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs™ to shield themselves from hearing loss. The devices were designed to block harmful sounds while allowing commands to filter through. Unfortunately, the earplugs were manufactured by 3M and did not protect against loud, possibly damaging noises because they did not fit properly in soldiers’ ears.
The use of this defective equipment was widespread. According to an afflicted veteran:
“Anytime we were on a [shooting] range, anytime, you know, flying in a helicopter, riding in a Humvee. We used them every day when I was in Iraq, whenever we went out on a patrol or went anywhere.”
After 3M’s settlement with the federal government, many veterans were inspired to come forward with their own cases. Lawsuits allege that 3M knew of their defective design as early as 2000 but failed to warn users about the earplugs’ inability to create a tight seal. Plaintiffs are requesting compensation to account for injuries caused by 3M’s “gross negligence.”
Even with hundreds of lawsuits already filed, litigation against 3M is only scratching the surface. Hundreds, maybe even thousands more lawsuits are on their way. While 3M has removed their harmful product from the market, the company still needs to be held accountable for the serious injuries it caused in American servicemembers.
If you have suffered from hearing loss, tinnitus, or loss of balance as a result of using 3M earplugs, we can help hold 3M responsible for your injuries.
Filing a lawsuit against 3M will not affect your benefits-status with the VA. At Monge & Associates, your consultation will also be absolutely free.
To get the most out of your meeting with our attorneys, bring in the following:
- Copies of hearing tests and other VA documents
- The details of your case: When did you use the earplugs? When did your hearing problems arise?
- A list of questions: We are happy to explain fees, give you insight into the legal process, and estimate how long your claim might take
If you don’t have access to your medical records, the VA should be able to provide you with copies.
Once you feel prepared, call us at (800) 860-8021 to schedule your free consultation.
We are also available 24/7 to address any questions and concerns you may have about your lawsuit.