Lawyers in Oregon and Washington for Military Servicemen and Women Who Suffered Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, and Loss of Balance after Wearing 3M Combat Arms Earplugs
As a member of the U.S. armed forces, you often do not have a choice about the equipment you use. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and military branches do their best to choose quality contractors and suppliers, but sometimes substandard products slip through the cracks.
Recently, this was the case with dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) supplied by the 3M Company (“3M”). In 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a press release announcing that 3M had agreed to pay $9.1 million to settle allegations that it knowingly sold its “Combat Arms Earplugs” brand, dual-ended earplugs to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) despite being aware of a defect that limited the earplugs’ effectiveness as a hearing protection device. The DOJ’s press release went on to state:
“The settlement announced today resolves allegations that 3M violated the False Claims Act by selling . . . defective earplugs to the Defense Logistics Agency [which is a combat support agency within the DOD]. Specifically, the [DOJ] alleged that 3M, and its predecessor, Aearo Technologies, Inc., knew the [design of its Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2] was too short . . . and that the earplugs could loosen imperceptibly and therefore did not perform well for certain individuals. The [DOJ] further alleged that 3M did not disclose this design defect to the military.”
Military Servicemen and Women Must Take Legal Action to Receive Just Compensation
Importantly, while the DOJ’s settlement with 3M resulted in the return of millions of taxpayer dollars, these funds went back into the U.S. government’s coffers. They are not being used to compensate the military servicemen and women who suffered ear injuries as a result of using 3M’s dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs. In order to receive just compensation for their losses, active-duty service members and veterans who suffered hearing loss or tinnitus must separately take legal action against 3M.
With office locations in Washington and Oregon, D’Amore Law Group is offering legal representation to current and retired members of the Army, Navy, and Air Force in both states who suffered hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) after wearing 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2), supplied by the Defense Logistics Agency between 2003 and 2015. In addition to the DOJ’s $9.1 million False Claims Act settlement, numerous active-duty service members and veterans have already been successful in recovering financial compensation from 3M.
FAQs: Seeking Financial Compensation for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Caused by Defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs
Q: Do I need to go through the DOD or my branch of the military to seek financial compensation for my ear injury caused by defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs?
No. The process of recovering financial compensation for ear injuries caused by 3M Combat Arms Earplugs involves filing a civil lawsuit directly against 3M. In order to recover your losses, you will need to hire a private attorney who handles product liability cases in your state.
Q: Can I file a 3M Combat Arms Earplugs lawsuit if I am retired from the military?
Yes. Your current status with the military does not impact your right to seek just compensation from 3M. In fact, hundreds of veterans across the United States have already filed lawsuits seeking financial compensation for ear injuries they sustained while wearing 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs. If you were in the military at any point between 2003 and 2015 and you wore Combat Arms Earplugs, you should speak with an attorney about filing a claim against 3M.
Q: How were 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) defective?
The lawsuits filed against 3M to date have alleged that the company’s Combat Arms Earplugs were defective because they were not properly designed to provide hearing protection for certain individuals when worn as instructed. For many individuals, the earplugs were too short to be effective even when worn properly. And as a result, servicemen and women who wore the earplugs were not aware that they were putting their ears at risk.
Q: What types of ear injuries have been linked to 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2)?
To date, the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2), have been linked to three primary types of injury: (i) permanent hearing loss, (ii) tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and (iii) loss of balance caused by damage to the inner ear. Active-duty and retired servicemen and women who are experiencing symptoms of these injuries should seek medical attention as soon as possible, and those who have been diagnosed with these injuries should speak with a lawyer promptly.
Q: How long do I have to file an earplug lawsuit against 3M?
The amount of time you have left to file a lawsuit against 3M depends on a number of different factors that are unique to the circumstances of your individual case. As a result, if you have reason to suspect that your ears may have been damaged by defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, it is important that you consult with a Washington product liability lawyer right away.
Steps to Take If You Wore 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2), in the Military between 2003 and 2015
Here are the steps you should take if you wore Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2), in the military between 2003 and 2015 and would like to find out if you are entitled to financial compensation from 3M:
1. See Your Doctor
First and foremost, you should see your doctor promptly. You will need a diagnosis if you have not received one already. And if you have previously been diagnosed with hearing loss, tinnitus, or loss of balance resulting from inner ear damage, you will need to know whether your injury could have been caused by exposure to loud sounds during your time in the military.
2. Take Notes
Write down as many details as you can remember: When did you wear earplugs in the military? Where were you stationed and what was your assignment at that time? Were you exposed to loud sounds; and, if so, what kind? These are all important details you will need to discuss with your attorney.
3. Speak with an Attorney
In order to recover just compensation from 3M, you will need to hire an attorney. You should schedule a free initial consultation with a Washington product liability attorney in your state as soon as possible.
Schedule a Free 3M Earplug Lawsuit Consultation in Oregon or Washington
If you are a current or former member of the U.S. military and would like to find out if you can file a lawsuit to recover just compensation for ear injuries you sustained while wearing 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. To speak with one of our Washington product liability attorneys in Oregon or Washington in confidence, call 503-222-6333 or request an appointment online now.