Between 2003 and 2015, U.S. military service members were issued Combat Arms earplugs. Originally designed by Aearo Technologies, which was bought by Minnesota-based company 3M in 2008, the Combat Arms earplugs were designed to protect service members from both lower- and high-level noises known to cause hearing damage. These earplugs were standard issue and were provided to hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of active-duty service members.
Unfortunately, the Combat Arms earplugs contained a serious flaw that rendered them essentially useless.
The initial design made it so that the earplugs were too small for standard Army carrying cases, and they also posed certain fit issues with some service members’ helmets. Because of this, the earplugs were modified and made shorter. While this solved the surface-level problems, it led to a serious side effect: the earplugs no longer effectively filtered out or blocked high-level noises, meaning service members were exposed to incredibly harmful, highly damaging noises. As a result, countless men and women suffered permanent, irreversible hearing damage, deafness, and tinnitus, a condition characterized by a persistent ringing or “buzzing” in the ears.
3M Earplug Litigation
The defective design of the 3M Combat Arms earplugs was the cause of countless service members’ hearing damage. Shockingly, 3M was aware of the flaw, yet it continued to supply the earplugs to the U.S. military without any mention of the defective design, thereby putting individual service members at risk of serious and permanent injury.
To date, well over 200,000 claimants have taken action against 3M, seeking compensation for their damages under product liability laws. These laws state that any product manufacturer or distributor that creates, manufactures, sells, or distributes a defective product that results in injuries or harm can be held legally liable for the resulting damages.
As one of the largest class action lawsuits in U.S. history, 3M earplug litigation is likely to resolve in a sizeable settlement. Unfortunately, those who take part in the class action will not be able to recover compensation until a settlement (or verdict) is reached, which may not be until 2021, 2022, or later.
Filing a Claim
If you believe you may have been affected by the defective 3M Combat Arms earplugs, we encourage you to reach out to our defective product lawyers at the Law Offices of John D. Ameen, P.A. Based in Fort Lauderdale, we assist active-duty military members and veterans throughout Florida who have suffered immensely due to Aearo Technologies’ and 3M’s failure to create and supply safe, effective equipment.
You may be eligible to file a defective 3M Combat Arms earplug claim or lawsuit if you meet the following conditions:
- You served in the United States military at some point between 2003 and 2015
- You used the standard-issue 3M Combat Arms earplugs
- You were exposed to loud noises known to cause hearing damage
- You experienced hearing loss, hearing damage, deafness, tinnitus, or another hearing-related condition
- You sustained measurable damages, including but not limited to medical expenses, lost income/wages, disability, pain and suffering, and lost quality of life
By taking part in 3M earplug litigation, you can seek fair financial recovery for your economic and non-economic damages. While a settlement or verdict can not undo the pain and suffering you have been through, it can provide the financial resources you need to obtain proper medical treatment, manage day-to-day expenses while out of work, and move forward with your life. A successful claim can also provide you with a much-needed sense of justice, allowing you to heal.
Why You Need an Attorney
Although you are not required to hire an attorney to file a defective 3M earplug claim, having an experienced legal team on your side can make all the difference in your case. At the Law Offices of John D. Ameen, P.A., we are passionate about fighting for the rights of military servicemen and women who willingly risked their lives only to fall victim to 3M’s failure to adequately protect them from the risks associated with active duty. We believe that you deserve justice, and we are ready to fight tirelessly on your behalf.
When you work with an attorney at our firm, we will handle all of the details of your case. This includes investigating your claim, gathering supporting evidence and medical records, and negotiating with the other side’s defense team. We are fully prepared to take your case to trial if necessary and can advise you of all your legal rights and options.
There is no risk in speaking to a member of our team about your potential case. We offer free initial consultations and contingency fees, meaning you never pay any out-of-pocket expenses. Instead, we collect attorneys’ fees via a percentage of your recovery; if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay.