Hundreds of U.S. veterans are currently filing lawsuits against 3M Company for creating and selling defective earplugs to the United States military. The earplugs, which had a crucial design flaw, failed to effectively protect users from damaging noise, which resulted in several accounts of hearing loss, hearing impairment, and tinnitus. After facing the alleged charges brought forth by a whistleblower, 3M agreed to pay the military $9.1 to settle the allegations. However, despite this settlement, countless military members are still dealing with the hearing problems caused by these defective products.
Our troops regularly put their lives on the line for our country with no thought to their own safety. When they put on their safety equipment, they shouldn’t have to wonder whether or not the products will actually do their job. Issues like these simply should not happen, and when they do, the liable parties must be held fully responsible for the harm they caused.
If you suffered any hearing injuries while serving in the United States military, make sure you know everything you need to about the allegations, the damages, and the resulting lawsuits.
Who is Responsible?
The issue with the 3M earplugs was first brought forward by a whistleblower who was employed by a competitor company, according to a press release by The United States Department of Justice. They accused 3M of knowingly selling their defective earplugs to the military for the sake of profit, and even alleged that the company falsified competency tests to prove the products fit military standards, which they did not. As a result of this lawsuit, which accused 3M of violating the False Claims Act, the company agreed to pay the U.S. military $9.1 million.
The Resulting Damage
Due to a certain design defect, the 3M dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 were too short to work properly. As a result, the device could slip out of place while worn, though the movement would be imperceptible to the wearer. This issue could leave the wearer susceptible to damaging noises, including explosions, gunfire, and other loud blasts common to soldiers undergoing training or fighting overseas. This type of extensive, sometimes repetitive, damage can result in hearing loss, hearing impairment, and tinnitus, a common condition that causes ringing in the ears.
Seek Legal Help If You Were Harmed
If you or someone you love served in the military between 2003 and 2015 and suffered hearing damage, you may be eligible to seek compensation from the responsible party. Since the settlement, hundreds of veterans have filed lawsuits against 3M for their grave error. Dealing with a lasting or serious hearing injury can be expensive, especially if your condition requires ongoing care, medication, surgery, or if it affects your career. In any case, dealing with any hearing injury can impact your personal life and cause serious pain and suffering.
If you believe you have a claim, our defective product attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman are prepared to help. We firmly believe that our troops have a right to safe, effective equipment, and we want to do our part to hold the liable party responsible for the harm they caused. Since 1979, we have fought vigorously for the rights of the injured, and we want to help you, too.
Contact Kalfus & Nachmanat (855) 880-8163 to schedule a free consultation with our Norfolk personal injury lawyers.