3M has been hit with thousands of lawsuits for their faulty earplugs. In the lawsuits, active-duty military and veterans have accused 3M and its subsidiary, Aearo Technologies, of knowingly committing fraud by failing to warn about the earplugs’ defects and falsifying earplug test results. (Aearo initially manufactured the earplugs, and 3M acquired the company in 2008.)
3M’s dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs were marketed as serving two main purposes. The olive-colored side was supposed to block out all sound, while the yellow-colored side was intended to allow in quieter sounds (e.g., communication from other soldiers) but reduce loud noises (e.g., gunfire and explosions).
The earplugs were defective because the cone-shaped devices may have been too short for some ear canals, preventing them from being inserted deep enough. The earplugs may eventually work themselves loose, leaving the user unaware that the device has gotten out of place. Once the earplug is no longer all the way in the ear canal, the protection it offers may not be enough.
In 2016, Moldex-Metric Inc., a corporation that makes hearing protection products, filed suit against 3M, claiming the Minneapolis-based multinational corporation committed fraud by knowingly selling defective earplugs to the military. While 3M admitted no wrongdoing, in 2018, they agreed to pay $9.1 million to the U.S. Department of Justice.
If you are an active-duty soldier, military contractor, or veteran who has suffered hearing damage because of these faulty 3M dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs, you may be entitled to compensation. Veterans with hearing problems who served in the military any time between 2003 and 2015 may be eligible to file a 3M earplug lawsuit.
The experienced New York 3M earplug lawsuit attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are