Military Issued Earplugs Were Found Defective, Causing Hearing Loss & Tinnitus in Servicemembers
Manufacturer and U.S. military contractor 3M supplied a version of the Combat Arms™ Earplugs (CAEv.2) as standard-issue hearing protection to service members in both Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2015. In July of 2018, 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve a lawsuit pursued by the U.S. Department of Justice, which among other claims, alleged that 3M knowingly sold defective earplugs to the U.S. military, violating the Fair Claims Act.
“Military service members who were issued 3M Combat Arms Earplugs in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2003 and 2015 are currently reporting hearing loss and tinnitus.”
The Combat Arms Earplugs—designed by Aearo Technologies, Inc. and later acquired by 3M in 2008—feature a dual-ended design. This construction was intended to serve two different roles based on how the devices were inserted:
- The “open” position—with the yellow end in—was designed to block high noise levels.
- The “closed” position—with the green end in—was designed to block all sound levels.
Testing showed the stem connecting both ends were too short, restricting a user’s ability to achieve a proper fit. This allowed the earplugs to loosen—allowing noise to pass at levels harmful to users.
Further examination also revealed the devices fell short of the military’s required Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). Despite the shortcomings, 3M submitted a bid to the United States military certifying their earplugs met the required standards.
Our Arkansas Defective Product Lawyers Will Fight for You
At Caddell Reynolds, our team of Arkansas Defective Product Attorneys believes manufacturers of defective products need to be held accountable for the injuries their products cause. We are now accepting cases from active and former military who suffered new hearing loss, the worsening of existing hearing loss, or tinnitus after using 3M Combat Arms Earplugs. We can evaluate your case for free, provide the legal guidance you need, and give you support you can trust.
Call Caddell Reynolds at 800-671-4100 Today for a Free Consultation.
We Can Help.
If you or someone you love suffered hearing loss, hearing damage, or tinnitus after using military-issued 3M Combat Arms™ Earplugs (CAEv.2) and served between 2003-2015; call Caddell Reynolds for help at 800-671-4100. You may be entitled to compensation. When you call, you’ll speak to an Arkansas Defective Product Attorney who can stand by your side every step of the way. Call us at 800-671-4100 today. We have offices conveniently located throughout Arkansas to better serve you.
Caddell Reynolds. Make the right call!