Defective Earplugs May Have Caused Thousands of U.S. Troops to Suffer Hearing Loss and Ear Damage

by Staff Blogger | March 4th, 2019

Troops serving in combat roles experience many dangers during their service—including the risk of hearing loss and ear damage. To help protect them from those dangers, the U.S. military issued 3M’s dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, to thousands of troops between 2003 and 2015.

Because the earplugs were dual-ended, they could be inserted into users’ ears in both directions. The yellow-colored ends of the earplugs were designed to block most sounds while allowing users to still hear commands from friendly soldiers and the movements of enemy combatants, while the olive-colored ends were designed to block all sounds.

However, the earplugs were defective and failed to properly protect users from combat noises, putting them at risk of experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus, balance problems, and other ear-related damage. 3M Company knew about the earplugs’ defects as early as 2000 but continued to sell them to the U.S. military until 2015.

In response to 3M’s negligence, the U.S. government filed a lawsuit against the company under the False Claims Act. 3M was required to pay the Department of Justice $9.1 million for knowingly selling defective earplugs, opening the door for new lawsuits. As of March 2019, 3M is facing hundreds of lawsuits from veterans who were injured by the defective earplugs.

If you or someone you love was hurt by 3M’s defective dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, our Nashville defective product lawyers want to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injury-related expenses. Contact us today for a free consultation.