Veterans in Texas have lined up to sue 3M over defective combat earplugs. The lawsuits allege the manufacturing company knowingly sold defective dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs to the U.S. military from 2003 to 2015. As a result of wearing the earplugs, veterans claim to have suffered permanent hearing damage.
Over 100 lawsuits against 3M have been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Attorneys for the veterans expect to see more lawsuits against the company in the future.
3M Accused of Knowing About Defects Early On
The lawsuits against 3M allege the company knew about defects in the dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs in the early 2000’s. After testing exposed the defect, 3M is accused of lying about the product’s ability to meet military standards.
3M continued to sell the earplugs to the military until the product was discontinued in 2015.
3M Previously Paid Millions to Resolve Allegations
According to Military Times, 3M previously paid $9.1 million to resolve allegations made by the U.S. Justice Department. Justice Department officials accused the company of knowing about a design flaw that would cause the earplugs to slip from the ear canal, exposing veterans to loud sounds. By knowingly selling the defective earplugs to the military, 3M violated the False Claims Act.
The federal government’s case against 3M was unrelated to the lawsuits filed by veterans.
Tinnitus and Hearing Loss in Veterans
While tinnitus and hearing loss are already among the most common disabilities suffered by veterans, the defective Combat Arms earplugs manufactured 3M have exacerbated the problem by providing false assurance among military members that they were taking appropriate steps to mitigate damaging sounds and protect their hearing. If you used 3M earplugs while serving in the U.S. military, be aware of the following symptoms.
Tinnitus may come in the form of:
Other symptoms of hearing loss include:
- Muffling of speech and other sounds
- Difficulty understanding words, especially against background noise
- Trouble hearing consonants
- Frequently asking others to speak more slowly, clearly, or loudly
- Withdrawal from conversations
- Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio
Do You Suffer from Tinnitus or Hearing Loss Caused by Defective 3M Earplugs?
If you were issued 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs while in the military and now suffer from tinnitus or hearing loss, contact Thomas J. Henry immediately. For the past 25 years, our experienced product liability attorneys haven handled a multitude of defective product cases and have litigated against some of the largest companies in the world. Our extensive legal and financial resources allow us to provide our clients with truly dynamic legal representation.
Let us help you recover the compensation you are entitled to. Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Contact us today for a free case review.