Hearing loss and tinnitus are two of the primary symptoms associated with the use of 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs® Version 2 (CAEv2) by veterans who served in the military sometime between 2003 and 2015. Faulty product design inhibited proper insertion into the users’ ears, and the earplugs could not maintain a tight seal exposing the soldiers to dangerously loud sounds.
3M’s dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs® were standardly issued in certain branches of the United States military from 2003-2015. Aearo Technologies Inc.® created the earplugs, and then 3M® purchased the company in 2008, according to their press release.
The dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs fulfilled an immediate need for hearing protection for servicemen and women of the United States military. Tinnitus, hearing loss and other hearing impairments are the most common service-connected disabilities for men and women in the armed forces, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
More than a million veterans received disability compensation for hearing loss in 2017, and almost two million received compensation for tinnitus, according to the Hearing Health Foundation.
Thousands of American soldiers received 3M dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs®, especially those deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in the early 2000s.
The Department of Justice announced today that 3M Company (3M®), headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, has agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold the dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2®) to the United States military without disclosing defects that hampered the effectiveness of the hearing protection device.
“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the men and women serving in the United States military from defective products and fraudulent conduct,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Department’s Civil Division. “Government contractors who seek to profit at the expense of our military will face appropriate consequences.”
Learn more about the 3M® Defective Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuit with some of our FAQ’s. If you have Hearing Loss or Tinnitus and served in the military, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Time is limited. Submit your information for a free case review.
The earplugs are intended to significantly reduce the loud impulse sounds of battlefield explosions that can harm the inner ear. However, they still allow the wearer to hear quieter noises such as instructions or an approaching enemy.
Military members who served from 2003-2015 suffering from hearing loss and tinnitus should talk to us about a free confidential case review.