Have you suffered hearing loss issues caused by dual end Combat Arms Ear Plugs?
If you or someone you know was a member of the United States Military or National Guard during the years of 2003 to 2015 and have suffered partial or total hearing loss, you may be entitled to compensation.
Originally created by Aearo Technologies, 3M has been the exclusive supplier of dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs to the US military for over a decade. A recently uncovered defect in the design of the earplugs may result in the ear plugs coming loose or not properly fitting, resulting in permanent hearing loss. In July, the Department of Justice announced that 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million to the United States Military for its failure to disclose known defects in the ear plugs in violation of the False Claims Act.
According to a VA study, over 2.6 million veterans are already receiving disability compensation for hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears). If you were enlisted in the military between the years of 2003 and 2015, and suffered hearing loss as a result of the dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, please contact TSR Injury Law to discuss your legal rights.
Between 2003 and 2015, 3M had a contract with the U.S. Military to provide version 2 of its Duel Ended Combat Arms Ear Plugs. These earplugs became standard-issued earplugs for soldiers, specifically soldiers who were deployed to combat zones in the Middle East, consisting of Iraq and Afghanistan. 3M certified the U.S. Military that the earplugs were capable of protecting the soldiers' eardrums from gunfire and explosions, while still allowing them to talk freely.
There is substantial evidence that at the time 3M bid for, and was granted, the contract to supply the U.S. Military with its dual ended combat earplugs, 3M Company knew the earplugs had unsafe design defects that could result in soldiers' serious hearing loss. Specifically, 3M knew that the earplugs had construction defects that impacted the ability of the earplug to achieve and maintain a tight seal in the wearer's ear canal. The effect was that damaging levels of noise could circumvent the plug altogether, putting the soldier at significant risk for serious hearing damage or hearing loss.
Despite its knowledge of the flaw in the ear plugs, it is believed that 3M altered laboratory results and falsely certified to the U.S. Military that the product fulfilled all required hearing protection specifications. Allegations were brought against 3M under the False Claims Act stating that 3M committed deception against the U.S. government, and did it at the cost of the military. In response, 3M consented to pay $9.1 million to the U.S. Government to resolve the allegations that it knowingly sold the military defective earplugs.
Although the False Claims case has been resolved, the negotiation does not provide for a settlement for military personnel who suffered hearing injury as a result of the flawed ear plugs.