Soldiers serving in the military between 2003 and 2015 received earplugs designed and distributed by the 3M Company as standard issue during their service. These 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs had a core product defect that failed to properly seal and protect soldiers’ ears from dangerously loud noises in the field. Due to this critical product defect, hundreds of veterans now experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and other painful side effects.
3M Knowingly Distributed Defective Earplugs
After veterans began bringing lawsuits against 3M, it was discovered the manufacturing company was aware of the earplug defect, yet decided nevertheless to sell the product to the United States military and distribute it to soldiers.
After a court battle, 3M ultimately paid $9.1 million to the U.S. government and a whistleblower to settle the claim, but did not admit liability or guilt for veterans’ hearing issues. None of this settlement money went to service members who wore the defective earplugs.
Why 3M Needs to Take Responsibility
These defective earplugs have had a disastrous effect on veterans’ health and well-being. Many veterans report that their tinnitus causes a constant ringing or rushing sound in their ears that gets worse with less ambient noise. They are no longer able to experience peace, quiet, and tranquility.
According to one retired soldier who served this country faithfully for 36 years—Army Brig. Gen. William Gothard of Fayetteville, N.C.—the symptoms “[sound] like a chorus of cicadas sitting on your shoulders constantly, and the less ambient noise around, the worse that tinnitus is.”
Medical experts also say this condition makes it difficult for those affected to perform day-to-day tasks or job operations due to the constant distraction of the ear ringing. This makes it difficult for retired service members to return to civilian life or even independent living.
At DiPasquale Moore, we have incredible respect for the service given by the brave men and women in uniform. We believe that 3M needs to be held accountable for their negligence and indifference for veterans’ health. If you are a veteran affected by the defective 3M ear plugs, we want to represent you.
Contact DiPasquale Moore at (816) 888-7500 to discuss your options with us today.