3M Combat Arms Earplugs (Version 2 – CAEv2) supplied to all four branches of the U.S. military from 2003 to 2015 have been linked to hearing loss and tinnitus. Rizk Law is currently reviewing potential 3M Earplug injury lawsuits from veterans and active-duty military personnel who have experienced severe hearing damage and may be eligible to recover compensation.

A defective products lawyer from our firm is here to help. An initial consultation is completely free and will allow you the chance to discuss your situation with us and learn about your possible available legal options. You are not obligated to retain our services after this meeting. Over nearly two decades, we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients. Firm founder and senior attorney Richard Rizk was selected for inclusion as a 2020 Personal Injury Elite Lawyer.

Call Rizk Law today at 503.245.5677 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form.

Do I Qualify to File a 3M Earplug Lawsuit?

Our legal team is prepared to assess your eligibility during a complimentary case evaluation. Since every case is different, certain factors unique to your circumstances need to be evaluated to determine whether you may be able to take legal action.

You will be asked to answer questions about your experience using this product. It is important that you answer with as much detail as you can. Some of these questions may include: 

  • Did you serve in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015?
  • Did you wear military issued earplugs during years of service?
  • Were you exposed to loud blasts and noises while on duty?
  • Have you been diagnosed with hearing loss and/or tinnitus? 
  • Are you suffering from full or partial hearing loss in one or both ears?
  • How much has this product affected your hearing and daily life?
  • What medical treatments have you undergone for your hearing issues?
  • Have any treatments improved your hearing, or has it remained the same?
  • Has a doctor informed you of the chances of regaining your hearing?
  • Will your hearing improve over time or is it irreversible/permanent?

There is only so much time to file a case. That is why we recommend seeking legal representation as soon as possible. There is no cost to you to contact our firm to discuss a potential 3M earplug injury lawsuit.

Possible Compensation Available for Victims

Veterans and current military service members may be eligible to receive financial compensation for hearing loss and tinnitus caused by 3M earplugs.

However, the value of a specific case will depend on the severity of the hearing loss. Generally, most victims of defective products working with a lawyer could seek the following forms of compensation:

  • Costs related to medical care, including hospital stays, surgeries, diagnostic imaging tests, physical therapy, hearing aids and other corrective measures to help treat hearing loss
  • Lost wages and future earning potential while unable to work or return to work at all
  • Pain and suffering, and mental anguish from not being able to communicate with loved ones
  • Loss of enjoyment of life from having hearing damage or other serious hearing issues

Veterans Disability Payments for Hearing Loss

If you are currently receiving disability compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for hearing loss or tinnitus, you may also pursue additional compensation in a lawsuit against a negligent manufacturer. The government awards disability payments based on disability ratings and not income level, so taking legal action should not impact benefits.

Military Use of 3M Earplugs

From 2003 to 2015, the Combat Arms Earplugs were manufactured and sold by multinational conglomerate company 3M to the U.S military for its service members to use in combat to protect their hearing. The earplugs were originally developed by Aearo Technologies and acquired by 3M in 2008.

The 3M Earplugs were standard issued equipment and dual-ended with the intent of offering two levels of protection. One end of the plug would fit into the ear canal to help block out very loud noises from aircraft, guns, artillery and explosions. The other end of the plug would sit outside of the ear canal to block noise from entering while still allowing service members to communicate freely with one another.

Although the earplugs were designed to significantly reduce loud blasts that harm the inner ear, hearing loss or damage has since been reported by service members across all four branches of the military.

Dangers Associated with 3M Earplugs

The issue with the 3M Earplugs was that the part made to fit inside the ear canal was not long enough. After a short period of time using the earplugs, they can become loose and allow sound to enter the ear. Defects in the product’s design may cause serious damage to the hairs and nerves of the inner ear.

Many service members may have unknowingly been exposed repeatedly to high-level noises that caused auditory ailments from internal damage to the eardrums. The most commonly reported side effects from using the 3M Earplugs is tinnitus, ringing in the ears, and a partial or total loss of hearing.

In 2018, a whistleblower came forward warning that the earplugs were defective. 3M admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to pay $9.1 million to the U.S. Department of Justice to settle the allegations that the company knew of the flaw for over a decade. The 3M Earplugs have since been discontinued.

3M Earplug Injury Lawsuits

Thousands of defective earplug lawsuits have been filed against 3M on behalf of military men and women who have suffered severe hearing loss or damage. Many of these lawsuits have been combined into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in a Florida federal court. These lawsuits accuse 3M of the following:

  • Knowingly committing fraud against the U.S. military
  • Failing to warn the military and its service members of the earplugs’ defect
  • Being fully aware of the design flaw and understanding that it could cause hearing loss 
  • Falsifying earplug test results to show that they are safe and effective

Learn More About Filing a 3M Earplug Lawsuit

The legal team at Rizk Law is currently reviewing potential 3M Earplug injury lawsuits if you wore the earplugs and have developed hearing problems. You may be eligible to pursue compensation to help cover medical bills related to surgeries and treatments to improve hearing, lost wages from not working while recovering, as well as for the pain and suffering, both mental and physical, that you have endured.

An initial consultation is complimentary and confidential. There is no risk in calling us to learn more about your rights and no obligation after meeting with us to take legal action. We are available to take your call anytime, day or night. Our firm charges no upfront fees and we only get paid if we help you win.   

Contact Rizk Law at 503.245.5677 to get started.