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The average payout for 3M earplug lawsuit settlements differ from case to case and depend heavily on the specifics surrounding each servicemember’s injuries. Based on 3M Combat Arms earplugs lawsuit settlemetns that have been disclosed so far, servicemembers who have suffered partial hearing loss have received settlements ranging from $50,000 to $300,000. At this time, there is not enough public information available to determine the settlement range for more serious permanent hearing loss.

In January 2021, a federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation brought by service members sided with the two plaintiffs on which states’ laws should apply in their upcoming bellwether trials. The servicemembers and vets were selected for an initial bellwether case pool in the multidistrict litigation, in which they say that 3M Co. supplied earplugs that were defective and didn’t protect against service-related tinnitus and hearing loss.

In order to qualify to participate in a 3M combat arms earplug lawsuit, you must meet the following requirements. You must have served in the US military between 2003 and 2015, used military issued 3M Combat Arms earplugs during military service, have been diagnosed with unilateral or bilateral hearing loss. Also, you must NOT have Waardenburg syndrome, Branchiootorenal syndrome, Stickler syndrome, Usher syndrome, Pendred syndrome, Alport syndrome, Otosclerosis, or Meniere’s disease.

What Are 3M Combat Arms Earplugs?

Between 2003 and 2013, 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 was the exclusive product used by all branches of the United States military, including the Navy, Army, Marines, and Air Force, in numerous military conflicts. The 3M Arms Earplugs Version 2 was designed to protect against hearing loss from gunfire, explosions, bombings, and airfare.

Initially manufactured by Aero Technologies, but acquired by 3M in 2008, the dual-ended combat arms earbuds, which were intended to protect against hearing loss, were found to be defective. Instead of blocking soundwaves, the earbuds were too short for proper insertion in the ear canal, causing them to loosen in the ear and not properly protect our nation’s service members from potentially harmful sounds. Veterans claim defective earplugs causes serious injuries; injuries as a result of the defective earbuds range from tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears) to partial or total hearing loss.

If you suffer from tinnitus, hearing loss, partial or total hearing loss, you may qualify for a 3M Combat Arms Earplugs lawsuit.

 

Do I Qualify to Participate in a 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawsuit?

In order to qualify to participate in a 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawsuit, you must meet the following:

  • Served in the US military between 2003 and 2015
  • Must have used military issued 3M Combat Arms earplugs during military service
  • Must have been diagnosed with unilateral or bilateral hearing loss
  • Must NOT have any of the following:
    • Waardenburg syndrome
    • Branchiootorenal syndrome
    • Stickler syndrome
    • Usher syndrome
    • Pendred syndrome
    • Alport syndrome
    • Otosclerosis
    • Meniere’s disease

 

If you meet these qualifications, contact a 3M Combat Arms earplugs lawyer from our firm to discuss your situation, free of charge and no obligation required.

 

3M Earplugs Defect: What Was Wrong With 3M Earplugs?

In 2003, the government issued an RFP, or government contract proposal, to Aero Technologies in which the company falsely certified the Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 was up to the designated standards by confirming they had a certain noise reduction rating (NPR) and would protect military members from damaging sounds. Proper testing was careless and negligent, yet the company confirmed to the government the earbuds tested at the required 22 NPR rate when in reality, the earbuds tested at an average rate of about 10.9 NPR, a vast difference.

 

Testing Showed Design Defect

During testing, results showed the earbuds, in fact, were not as effective as intended, not only because of the lower NPR rate but also because of a design defect which caused them to loosen in the ear canal as a result of the earbud itself being too short to be properly inserted into the ear canal. According to a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice, 3M has known since as early as 2000 that the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs were defective. After acquiring Aero, 3M hired Aero employees, including developers, who were aware of the product defect through pre-market testing in 2000.

Aero Technologies and its predecessor 3M failed to acknowledge the design defects to the United States government and military members.

 

Military Service Members Who Received Defective Earplugs

The defective earbuds were standard issue to all military personnel during the following military conflicts:

  • The Iraq War
  • War in Afghanistan
  • 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 present)

 

Do 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Cause Hearing Loss?

The earbuds were designed as an inverted cone shape to be used in two different ways. One allows the individual to insert one side of the earbuds into the ear canal that would still allow for some hearing, such as when needing to listen to a conversation, but more muted. The other end of the earbuds would provide more extensive noise protection, such as when around gunfire or airfare.

A major defect was not disclosed to the government. After providing the earbuds to servicemembers for years, the defect brought to light the significant hearing damage the earbuds could have caused to service members who used them. Rather than being a hearing protector, a lack of proper insertion into the user’s ears caused irreparable hearing disabilities and loss.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, veterans who served overseas, specifically during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom between September 2001 and March 2010, were four times more likely to suffer from significant hearing loss than non-veterans.

According to the comprehensive 2017 Annual Benefits Report published by the Veterans Benefits Administration, auditory disabilities were the number two cause of treatment between 2013 and 2017. In 2017, 3,101,223 men and women were treated for auditory disabilities. Tinnitus and hearing loss are the top two service-connected disabilities treated by the Veteran’s Administration. Tinnitus accounts for 7.7%, or 1,786,980 and hearing loss accounts for 5.0% or 1,157,585 of all disabilities. However, the number of affected individuals may be higher because many do not report their injuries or seek treatment.

Proper protection for soldiers is vital when faced with life or death situations while protecting our country. For companies that do business with the government, all should be providing properly made safety equipment for military members.

 

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing in the years. While not considered a medical condition, it is an underlying cause of medical issues such as an ear injury or Auditory processing disorder (APD). For military members who used the 3M Combat Arms Earbuds Version 2, tinnitus could be a result of permanent hearing damage from not being properly protected when around deafening noises while deployed during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

If you believe you are suffering from tinnitus, hearing loss, or Auditory processing disorder (APD), contact a medical professional to diagnose your injuries.

 

Do 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Cause Tinnitus?

Yes. Among the other hearing-related injuries associated with the 3M earplug, tinnitus is one of the injuries caused by the 3M earplug defect. If you developed tinnitus during your time in the service, it could be the fault of 3M’s defective product. You likely qualify to participate in the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs lawsuit.

 

Is Having a Hearing Aid Considered a Disability?

According to the ADA, hearing loss is considered a disability and individuals that suffer from permanent hearing loss can qualify for disability. Whether you qualify for disability due to hearing loss depends on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the type of hearing loss, the severity of hearing loss, and whether the hearing loss is permanent. The ADA offers a comprehensive hearing loss guideline to help determine your rights and whether you qualify as disabled.

 

Filing a 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawsuit

TorHoerman Law is proud to help our brave servicemen and women. Our firm is currently filing a 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawsuit on behalf of servicemen and women who unfortunately suffered serious ear injuries during military combat as the result of 3M’s negligence and greed.

The VA recently reported that more than 2.6 million veterans are currently receiving disability compensation for tinnitus, partial or total hearing loss.

If you are currently are or were serving in the US military and served at any point in time between 2003 to 2015, and you suffer from tinnitus, partial or total hearing, you may be eligible to participate in a 3M Combat Arms Earplugs lawsuit.

Contact us to talk with an attorney at TorHoerman Law today. You fought for us, now let us fight for you.

 

Steps to File a 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawsuit

Hundreds of vets have filed 3M earplug lawsuits already.

 

Mitigate Your Injuries

The first and one of the most important steps is to mitigate your injuries by seeking medical treatment and diagnosis right away. Be sure to follow your doctor’s orders and do everything in your power to reduce the impacts of your injury.

 

Gather Evidence

Be sure to begin collecting all military service records and medical records as soon as possible – gathering evidence for your lawsuit is an important step in the process. Evidence will help to prove that your injuries resulted from 3M earplugs and that you suffered both economic and non-economic losses as a result.

 

Contact a 3M Earplugs Injury Lawyer

Once you have began to gather evidence, it is time to begin seeking legal aid.

Hiring a personal injury attorney can greatly increase your chances of a successful 3M Combat Arms Earplugs lawsuit. You should also familiarize yourself with the steps in the civil litigation process, to have a better understanding of your role and your attorney’s duties. Because statutes of limitations bar you from taking legal action after an allotted time, you should not hesitate to seek legal aid.

Once you provide more detail about your case, your attorney will be able to determine what personal injury damagesyou qualify for – you may choose to file for both compensatory damages and punitive damages

 

3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawsuit Settlements

3M has already agreed to settlements with a number of service-members who have suffered hearing loss, tinnitus, and other injuries linked to the 3M Combat Arms earplugs.

 

What is the Average Payout For the 3M Earplug Lawsuit?

3M Earplug lawsuit settlements differ from case to case and depend heavily on the specifics surrounding each servicemember’s injuries. Based on the 3M Combat Arms earplugs lawsuit settlements that have been disclosed so far, service-members who have suffered partial hearing loss have received settlements ranging from $50,000 to $300,000. At this time, there is not enough public information available to determine the settlement range for more serious permanent hearing loss.

 

TorHoerman Law: Your 3M Combat Earplugs Lawyer

At TorHoerman Law, our team of 3M combat earplugs lawyers is experienced in all types of defective products lawsuits. A 3M combat earplugs lawyer from TorHoerman Law is available to speak to any service member who believes that he or she has a potential 3M combat earplugs lawsuit, free of charge and no obligation necessary.

Contact TorHoerman Law to talk to a 3M combat earplugs lawyer now.

 

 

 

 

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