In 2014, almost 1 million veterans received disability benefits for hearing impairment. This doesn’t include the 1.3 million on disability compensation for tinnitus with an additional 1.6 million seeking medical care for the condition. Now, many are shocked that 3M’s standard issue dual-ended earplugs could have caused their hearing loss.
About Defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs
Over the years between 2003 and 2015 3M and Aearo Technologies supplied a maximum of 2.2 million earplugs to the US military, to use in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, as an exclusive supplier for the US military for earplugs. Only military personnel used this product.
3M designed the defective Combat Arms Earplugs V2 (CAEv2) earplugs for armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect from hearing loss from 2003 to 2015. Marketing told soldiers that they could flip the devices for more protection around gunfire or explosions. These dual-ended earplugs could offer multiple safety options to protect them. When worn in the “closed” or “blocked” mode, the plugs blocked sound in the fashion of conventional earplugs. When flipped to the yellow end, which is the “open” or “unblocked” position, the ear protection greatly reduces intense impulse sounds on the battlefield. Plus, the open mode would not obstruct quieter noises like approaching combatants or communication from comrades. 3M insisted that these earplugs were the answer to protecting hearing while still being able to perform necessary duties on the battlefield.
The government issued millions of service members with Combat Arms Earplugs while engaging in foreign conflicts. Unfortunately, many may have been exposed to damaging sound levels after receiving defective and dangerous earplugs while fighting in:
- The Iraq War
- War in Afghanistan
- Operation Ocean Shield in the Indian Ocean
- The war in North-West Pakistan (part of War on Terror)
- War in Somalia
- Intervention in Libya (2011- part of Libyan Crisis)
- American-led intervention in Iraq (2014 – 2017)
- American-led intervention in Syria (2014 to present)
- Yemeni Civil War (2015 to present)
- American Intervention in Libya (2015 to present)
Lifelong Veteran Hearing Loss
CAEv2 were standard issue in certain branches of the military during foreign conflicts between 2002 and 2016 and may have caused thousands of soldiers to suffer significant hearing loss and tinnitus, and exposed millions more to the risks of hearing damage caused by the allegedly defective earplugs. The short stems make it difficult for a proper fit. Also, the earplug could have not maintained a tight seal in the ear of some wearers and allow dangerous sounds to enter the ear and cause hearing damage or tinnitus.
Even more shocking, 3M has known since 2000 that their earplugs were defective. This is why in July 2018, 3M paid $9.1 million to resolve Department of Defense allegations that the company sold dangerous and defective earplugs for more than a decade without warning servicemen and women. However, the company has done nothing to help the brave veterans of these wars suffering from serious hearing loss. When these earplugs loosened, it exposed them to dangerous sound levels.
The Michael Brady Lynch Firm complex litigation attorneys have more than two decades of experience protecting the rights of the injured. We have helped thousands across the country following an unexpected accident, defective product or personal injury claims. After being injured from negligence or malpractice, we will help you recover any compensation owed. This will help pay for medical expenses and other bills incurred from your injury. To qualify you must:
Have served in the U.S military between 2003 and 2015
Used military issued dual-end earplugs during military service
Have unilateral or bilateral hearing loss
Do not have Waardenburg syndrome, Branchiootorenal syndrome, Stickler syndrome, Usher syndrome, Pendred syndrome, Alport syndrome, Otosclerosis, or Meniere’s disease
Therefore if you or a loved one experienced partial or total hearing loss, buzzing in the ears or tinnitus after serving in a foreign conflict and wearing defective earplugs, call us today. Our consultations are completely free. Let’s fight for justice together.