Thousands of U.S. soldiers and veterans are believed to have suffered hearing loss because of defective earplugs sold by 3M Company to the U.S. government. 3M’s defective earplugs, known as the Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs (version 2), did not function as 3M claimed they would function. The earplugs were not long enough to be inserted properly into a soldier’s ears. The design prevented a snug fit in the ear canal of the user, causing the earplugs to become loose and exposing the user to dangerous levels of noise.
These earplugs were originally created by a company called Aearo Technologies, which was acquired by 3M in 2008. The earplugs were sold to the military from 2003-2015. It is believed that more than 1 million service members were issued 3M’s earplugs while engaging in various combat missions during foreign wars. These defective 3M earplugs have never been recalled and therefore, could still be in use by soldiers and other government employees.
Aearo Technologies was allegedly aware of the defect in the earplugs as early as year 2000, when it began testing the effectiveness of the earplugs. Earplugs like the Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs are sold with a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), which is a unit of measurement used to determine the effectiveness of hearing protection devices. The higher the NRR number associa
ted with a hearing protector, such as earplugs, the greater the potential for noise reduction. The U.S. government claimed that 3M and Aearo Technologies manipulated the results of the tests of the effectiveness of the earplugs in order to meet the U.S. government’s required standards. As a result of the fraudulent activities and misrepresentations by 3M and Aearo Technologies, thousands of U.S. veterans suffer
from permanent loss of hearing. Current or former military personnel who are suffering from hearing loss caused by 3M’s defective earplugs may have claims for compensation against 3M. Under the law, claims of this type must be filed within a certain time period or the claim will be barred by law, so you should not delay in contacting an attorney who has experience handling these types of unique cases.
The defective product attorneys at Suthers & Harper are investigating and pursuing 3M earplug lawsuits on behalf of U.S. soldiers and veterans, who used 3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs for hearing protection, but still suffered permanent hearing loss. During the 1990s, Suthers & Harper’s founder, John E. Suthers, successfully represented hundreds of locomotive engineers and trainmen, who had suffered noise-induced hearing loss as a result of their employment with two of the largest railroad companies in the United States. Mr. Suthers is now using his expertise on noise-induced hearing loss to help U.S. soldiers, veterans and other government employees, who have suffered permanent hearing loss while serving our country. If you or someone you know served in the military between 2003-2015, were issued 3M’s earplugs during your service, and have suffered from hearing loss, contact a hearing loss attorney at Suthers & Harper to learn more about your rights. We pursue these cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that there is no attorney fee unless a recovery is obtained. For a free consultation about a potential hearing loss lawsuit against 3M, call a hearing loss attorney at Suthers & Harper toll free at 1-800-320-2384, or go to www.sutherslaw.com and complete the Contact Form.