At Hardison & Cochran, we honor and respect the service of our nation’s men and women in uniform. Our attorneys are committed to helping veterans pursue full compensation for hearing loss and ringing in the ears caused by defective military-issued earplugs. Our attorneys are currently investigating claims of hearing loss caused by defective 3M earplugs. We do not charge any legal fee for our services unless we are successful in obtaining an out-of-court settlement or a jury award for you.
Call to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your service-related hearing impairment and your legal options. You stood up for our country and we are ready to stand up for you!
Are Defective 3M Earplugs Linked to Hearing Loss?
The earplugs with the dangerous design flaw are the dual-ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs Version 2 (CAEV2). The dual-ended design was supposed to offer two levels of hearing protection.
But the Combat Arms Version 2 earplugs were too short to maintain a tight seal in the ear canal and could loosen imperceptibly while inserted in some users’ ears, rendering them useless as hearing protection.
The CAEV2 was originally developed and manufactured by Aearo Technologies, Inc. The 3M Company acquired Aearo Technologies in 2008 and was the exclusive supplier of the earplugs to the Defense Logistics Agency through 2015.
The earplugs’ design flaw causes some users to develop hearing loss, tinnitus, ringing in the ears and loss of balance.
3M said in 2018 that the product had been discontinued but has not issued a recall of the product, so some military personnel may still be using the earplugs.
What Injuries Are Linked to 3M Combat Arms™ Earplugs Version 2?
Due to a design flaw in the earplugs, members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines issued the Combat Arms™ Earplugs Version 2 (CAEV2) and exposed to loud noise have sustained the following types of serious injuries:
Hearing loss and ringing in the ears are common problems experienced by many veterans. But before the recent Justice Department settlement, many veterans may have been unaware that the earplugs they were issued had contributed to their hearing loss or tinnitus.
3M Earplugs Lawsuit Settlement
In 2018, the 3M Company, based in Minnesota, agreed to pay $9.1 million to the U.S. Department of Justice to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company sold Combat Arms earplugs to the United States military without disclosing defects that reduced the effectiveness of the earplugs as hearing protection.
Properly made safety equipment is essential to protect our men and women in uniform whose duties may place them in proximity to loud noises including artillery, small arms fire, rockets and aircraft noise.
The lawsuit alleged that 3M and its predecessor company, Aearo Technologies, Inc., were aware that the Combat Arms Version 2 earplugs had a design flaw that could reduce the effectiveness of the earplugs as hearing protection, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.
The lawsuit alleged that 3M violated the federal False Claims Act by failing to reveal this dangerous design flaw to the military and that its product testing methodology did not comply with accepted standards. It also alleged that the noise reduction rating listed on the packaging of the Combat Arms Version 2 earplugs did not accurately represent the effectiveness of the product.
How Our 3M Earplug Hearing Loss Attorneys Can Help
Military contractors have a legal obligation to design and sell safety products that provide protection to service members when used as directed and to warn of any known defects. While the U.S. Justice Department should hold military contractors accountable when their products cause preventable harm, the $9.1 million settlement reached with 3M will not provide compensation to veterans who have suffered hearing loss as a result of defectively designed Combat Arms earplugs.
Veterans who have sustained hearing loss or deafness as a result of defective 3M earplugs will need to file separate civil lawsuits. Hundreds of veterans have already taken legal action after suffering hearing loss while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq and being issued Combat Arms Version 2 earplugs. Many more 3M earplug lawsuits are expected to be filed.
Our experienced product liability attorneys at Hardison & Cochran can evaluate your earplug hearing loss claim and discuss your legal options during a no-obligation consultation. We can discuss whether you are entitled to seek earplug hearing loss compensation. Once you understand your legal options, then you can make a well-informed decision about how to proceed.
If Hardison & Cochran represents you in a 3M earplug lawsuit, our attorneys will handle the case on a contingency fee basis. That means you will not have any out-of-pocket costs and will not be charged any legal fee unless we obtain financial compensation for you.
Hardison & Cochran, Attorneys at Law handles cases involving personal injuries, defectively designed products, and workplace injury claims in Raleigh and throughout North Carolina. We have the experience and resources to help you seek full compensation for your hearing loss. The law firm has offices in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Dunn, Greensboro, Southern Pines, and Wilmington.
Hardison & Cochran is listed in the 2019 edition of “Best Law Firms,” the annual rankings compiled by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers. It’s the fifth consecutive year that Hardison & Cochran has appeared in Best Law Firms.
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