Many veterans are shocked to learn that their tinnitus may have been caused by defective 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs earplugs worn during active service. These earplugs were standard issue from 2003-2015.
Tinnitus is intermittent or continuous ringing, hissing, roaring, buzzing or clicking in the ears. This disturbance can vary in volume levels. However, this is the most common disability among veterans. Extremely damaging levels of sound such as gunfire, aircraft, machinery, explosions, and more damage soldiers’ hearing. Most servicemen and women wear earplugs to help protect their hearing. However, 3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms earplugs used by soldiers are ineffective. This left veterans with life-altering consequences, such as difficulty concentrating and sleeping., and in most cases, the condition is permanent.
Earplugs Caused Veteran Tinnitus
3M’s designed its Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs as either standard earplugs or flipped for extra protection from gunfire or explosions. Soldiers could still hear approaching combatants or crucial orders. However, the earplugs did not function as such. In fact, not long after a solider inserts the device, it would loosen and be completely useless.
In 2000, the company knew the faults in their design, however, 3M still sold the earplugs to the US Government. Then, three years later these earplugs became a standard issue item amongst the armed services. A new lawsuit against the company says that 3M and Aearo Technologies, who was acquired by 3M in 2008, manipulated the test results of the earplugs to meet the U.S. government’s required product standards. 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million to the US Government to resolve these matters, though the company has admitted no wrongdoing and accepted no liability.
3M Defective Earplugs Injuries
The injuries occurring from the 3M defective earplugs include partial or total hearing loss, buzzing or ringing in the ears, or tinnitus from habitual loud noises. Hearing loss and tinnitus constitute the most common form of service-connected disability among U.S. veterans. The harm suffered has a dramatic impact on the lives of veterans, because there is no cure for tinnitus. Plus, these earplugs compounded the injuries since, 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. Further, James Henry with the VA Portland Healthcare System has indicated that more than 1.6 million veterans are seeking medical care for severe, ongoing tinnitus. This poses challenges for veterans because doctors have a great difficulty diagnosing the condition.
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. Therefore if you or a loved one experienced partial or total hearing loss, buzzing in the ears or tinnitus after military service, call us today. Our consultations are completely free. Let’s fight for justice together.