Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuit

Many United States servicemen and women who served in Iraq or Afghanistan between 2003 and 2015 were issued defective earplugs. Unfortunately, the defective earplugs — 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) — could have contributed to the development of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and/or tinnitus. Because they were faulty in design, these earplugs failed to protect our brave servicemen and women.

Have you (or someone you know)…

  • Served in the U.S. Military between 2003 and 2015?
  • Been issued 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2?
  • Suffered from service-related hearing loss and/or tinnitus?

Contact Phipps, Deacon, Purnell, PLLC today if you or someone you love meets the above criteria and would like to know more about a combat arms earplug lawsuit.

What You Need to Know About a Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuit

Background on the Situation

The government originally contracted with Aearo Technologies, Inc. for the earplugs. In 2008, the 3M Company (3M) acquired Aearo Technologies and took over the contract. Allegations filed against 3M under the False Claims Act hold that the 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 was too short to be properly inserted into a person’s ears. This allowed the earplugs to become loose without the wearer noticing. When this happened, the earplugs did not work properly and failed to protect the wearer’s hearing.

It has been reported by Will Morris of Stars and Stripes that “Aearo was aware of the plug’s defects as early as 2000, many years before it and 3M became the exclusive provider of selective attenuation earplugs to the military…” 3 To settle the allegations brought against them, 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million the U.S. Government in 2018. With these allegations that the company knew about the defects, a combat arms earplug lawsuit is likely to be successful.

Liability Relating to a Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuit

In a case like this, the US Department of Defense is not liable for damages related to the use of these earplugs. Eligible service members, however, can seek damages from 3M, the company responsible for knowingly supplying the faulty equipment. Because 3M is a government contractor that provided faulty equipment, involving yourself in a combat arms earplug lawsuit against them WILL NOT affect any VA benefits you may be eligible for.

If you qualify, a lawyer can help you pursue damages against 3M. Contact the law offices of Phipps, Deacon, Purnell, PLLC now to find out if you are eligible for financial compensation from 3M.

Medical Problems Associated with 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)

When a hearing impairment is caused by an explosion or any other type of loud noise, it is called noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). This type of hearing loss can affect people in different ways. Below is a short list of some ways that NIHL can manifest.

  • Inability to hear a specific range of frequencies
  • Impaired perception of sound
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

Hearing loss that is caused by loud noises, can manifest gradually or suddenly. Repeated exposure to loud noises can cause the hearing to deteriorate over time. On the other hand, a short but intense noise like an explosion can cause a sudden loss of hearing.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is not technically a disease. Instead, it is a symptom of an underlying problem. Often, it is associated with noise-induced hearing loss. In short, tinnitus is hearing sounds that are not there. The sounds can be loud, soft, high pitched, low pitched, and present in one or both ears. Some of the different manifestations of tinnitus include:

  • Ringing in the ears
  • Buzzing in the ears
  • Clicking in the ears
  • Hissing in the ears
  • Roaring in the ears
  • Hearing indistinct music or voices

How 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 Caused Hearing Problems

When servicemembers used 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2, the earplugs could slowly come loose in the ear. Many people who had this happen were unaware of what was happening at the time. If the earplugs became loose, they allowed sound vibrations to work their way around the earplugs that were supposed to protect the wearer. Under these circumstances, a person’s hearing could be impaired by the noises that they were trying to protect themselves against. This could lead to loss of hearing or tinnitus. According to the VA, hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the most common service-related disabilities. 3

Phipps, Deacon, Purnell, PLLC Can Help with a Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuit

Phipps, Deacon, Purnell, PLLC, a law office located in San Antonio, Texas, wants to help anyone who served our country and was injured by the wrongful conduct of 3M. They are investigating cases and representing injured soldiers from across the country.

Servicemembers serving in and around San Antonio who wish to pursue a combat arms earplug lawsuit can choose to work with a local law office. Phipps, Deacon, Purnell, PLLC is conveniently located near these United States Military Bases:

Military Bases Near San Antonio, Texas

  • Brooks City Base
  • Camp Bullis
  • Fort Sam Houston
  • Lackland Air Force Base
  • Randolph Air Force Base

Other Nearby Military Bases

  • Fort Hood
  • Naval Air Station Corpus Christi
  • Fort Bliss

Contact Phipps, Deacon, Purnell, PLLC today for further information regarding a combat arms earplug lawsuit. They will evaluate cases on an individual basis and represent any servicemember or veteran who is eligible for compensation.

Sources:

  1. https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/07/26/company-to-pay-9-million-after-allegedly-selling-defective-combat-earplugs-to-us-military/
  2. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/3m-company-agrees-pay-91-million-resolve-allegations-it-supplied-united-states-defective-dual
  3. https://www.stripes.com/news/contractor-settles-for-9-1-million-after-providing-defective-earplugs-for-servicemembers-1.540137
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise-induced_hearing_loss
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinnitus