3M Military Earplug Lawsuits

Representing Injured Servicemembers3M military earplugs

If you are a member of the armed forces or veteran who has suffered hearing loss or ear injury after using 3M military earplugs between the years 2003 and 2015, you may be entitled to receive compensation. After the government issued these earplugs to servicemembers, it was discovered that they were defective and did not protect the wearer’s ears from loud sounds on the battlefield and in training.

In July 2018, the U.S. government sued 3M for selling defective combat earplugs. The case was resolved with 3M being forced to pay a settlement of $9.1 million. It was also determined that the company knew that their product was defective at the time of selling them to the government, making them liable for the damages the product caused. However, the settlement money was only paid to the government and was not secured for the victims.

Golomb Legalcan help you seek compensation from 3M for the hearing injuries you suffered due to their defective earplugs. Our law firm proudly supports the troops. Let us show our appreciation by providing outstanding legal assistance and representation that prioritizes your best interests and maximum recovery.

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If you or a family member has suffered hearing loss or ear injury and was issued 3M combat earplugs during 2003 and 2015, Golomb Legal can represent you. Call our 3M earplug lawsuit attorneys at (215) 278-4449 today!

Ear Injuries Caused by Defective 3M Earplugs

Members of the Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy wore 3M “Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs” as a standard equipment item to protect their ears from the sounds of gunshots, explosions, and loud equipment. However, the stem of the earplug is too short, preventing the wearer from inserting it far enough into the ear canal to provide proper protection. The packaging instructions explain that a wearer may optionally roll back the first flange of the earplug stem to achieve a better fit, but it failed to explain that this is a necessary step for the product to work effectively. It was revealed that the original manufacturer, Aearo Technologies (which was purchased by 3M in 2008), was aware of this defect from as early as 2000 but failed to fix the product or adjust the instructions appropriately.

A significant number of service members who relied on the earplugs have suffered from a wide range of ear injuries, including tinnitus, an effect of the ear’s sound receptors becoming damaged.

Tinnitus can cause an individual to hear:

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Humming
  • Hissing
  • Clicking

Tinnitus can cause these noises to be heard constantly or intermittently. The more severe the exposure to loud noises, the more noticeable and constant the tinnitus can be. Other servicemembers experienced decreased hearing capacity, extreme sensitivity to sound, or total deafness. In some cases of severe tinnitus, the patient suffers a dramatic decline in their mental health due to the inability to rest peacefully as the constant sounds are heard.

Types of Compensation You May Receive

Let our experienced product liability attorneys help you hold 3M accountable for your injuries after losing your hearing while using 3M military issue earplugs. Importantly, only the 3M Dual Combat Arms Earplugs with yellow and drab green ends are being considered for lawsuits and class actions. If you were given these specific earplugs while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces from 2003 to 2015, then you can likely sue for compensation.

You may be entitled to receive compensation for the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability
  • Lost wages

The value of every case is unique and depends on how much you have been impacted by your hearing loss. As your chosen 3M earplug lawsuit attorneys, we will work diligently to uncover every damage owed to you. The goal is to maximize your claim’s value if it is being filed as its own lawsuit. Recoveries can function differently if you join a 3M earplug class action, though.

3M Bankruptcy Filing

In 2022, 3M announced that its subsidiary, Aearo Technologies, would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As part of the bankruptcy deal, a trust fund would be used to settle the many thousands of military earplug claims. After months of legal back-and-forth and multiple attempts by 3M to use an automatic stay to effectively cancel the earplug litigation, it appears that the bankruptcy filing will remain, but the earplug plaintiffs will still have a right to compensation. This outcome will have pros and cons for the plaintiffs.

The pros and cons of the 3M/Aearo Technologies bankruptcy filing are:

  • Pro: The bankruptcy case will likely require 3M to create a trust fund to provide a settlement to the plaintiffs.
  • Con: The amount provided through the trust fund might not be enough to fairly compensate every plaintiff, so the value of such claims might have been reduced.
  • Con: It could take much longer for the entire case to conclude now that a bankruptcy case has become wrapped up in the original civil suit.

Golomb Legal. is following news about 3M’s bankruptcy attempts, so we can make adjustments to our client’s cases as they become necessary. Trust your case to a team as knowledgeable and informed as us to give it a fair chance of success.

Fighting for Our Nation’s Bravest Fighters

Our seasoned trial attorneys have won more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for clients. We are prepared to represent you as well. Do not hesitate to contact our 3M earplug lawyers today to discuss your case in a consultation. From our law office in Philadelphia, we represent clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.

Send us a message online or call us at (215) 278-4449 to arrange your initial consultation. We can help you understand whether you might have a case and what your legal options are.

3M Military Earplug Lawsuit FAQ

Why are 3M Dual Combat Arms Earplugs unsafe?

The selective attenuation earplugs sold by 3M and Aearo Technologies are comprised of two cones. This design allows the wearer to hear quieter noises while blocking louder noises like gunshots and explosions. An inspection of these earplugs found that the stem that connects the two cones is too short, so the loud noises aren’t effectively blocked.

Is tinnitus permanent?

In many cases, tinnitus is permanent. It can manifest as a frequent, infrequent, or constant droning tone with no external origin. When tinnitus is severe, it can be considered a disability that makes the patient eligible for certain disability benefits.

Where were unsafe 3M earplugs used?

The United States Armed Forces only used the defective 3M military earplugs in active combat zones between 2001 and 2016. As a result, it is believed that only military service members who served in these regions of the world used the defective earplugs: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, and the Indian Ocean.

Can I still join the 3M lawsuits?

Yes, you might still be eligible to start or join a 3M military earplug lawsuit if a defective earplug caused you to lose your hearing. We would be happy to review your case to find out if you are eligible, as well as what you should do next if you are.

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