Have you been diagnosed with tinnitus or hearing loss?
If you wore Combat Arms™ Earplugs (CAEv2) between 2003 and 2015 during foreign conflicts, you may be entitled to significant compensation.
In July 2018, there was a whistleblower complaint that settled. 3M admitted to a design defect in their product and paid $9.1 million to resolve the issue. The defective Combat Arms Earplugs ™ (CAEv2) were sold to the military for more than a decade. Combat Arms Earplugs™ have a dangerous design that can cause them to loosen during use. This defect can cause hearing damage or tinnitus, which represents the largest ongoing medical cost to the military.
Do you suffer from severe ringing in your ears? Did you serve during any of the following conflicts?
A defense contractor knowingly put service members at risk for hearing loss. Veterans nationwide have suffered partial or total hearing loss because of defective earplugs. The dual-ended 3M Combat Arms™ Earplugs were standard military issue for soldiers from 2003 to 2015.
- War of Afghanistan
- The Iraq War in North-West Pakistan (part of War on Terror)
- War in Somalia
- Operation Ocean Shield in the Indian Ocean
- American-led intervention in Libya (2011- part of Libyan Crisis)
- American-led intervention in Iraq (2014 – 2017)
- American-led Intervention in Syria (2014 to present)
- Yemeni Civil War (2015 to present)
- American Intervention in Libya (2015 to presen
Why are the earplugs that were standard issue for more than 10 years defective?
Dual-sided Combat Arms™ Earplugs, CAEv2, were designed to give soldiers a single set of earplugs with two options, block sounds like traditional ear plugs or block loud sounds while allowing the wearer to hear quieter noises. The stem of the selective attenuation earplugs is too short. This makes them difficult to insert properly into the ears. The lack of a tight seal in the ear allows dangerous sounds to enter the ear canal causing hearing damage.
Defense Contractor Knowingly Put Service Members at Risk
The DOJ lawsuit states the earplugs were known, since 2000, to be defective. A whistleblower alleged the company not only knew about the design flaw, but continued to market and manufacture the ear plugs without disclosing it. The Combat Arms™ Earplugs were originally designed and manufactured by Aearo Technologies. In 2008, 3M acquired the company and hired the Aearo employees who had developed and tested the ear plugs. These employees were aware of the defects as early as 2000, several years before 3M acquired Aearo Technologies.