If you have used 3M brand dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs, you may be eligible to receive compensation for related medical bills due to temporary or permanent hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing of the ears), and more. Contact us immediately for a FREE consultation with the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC
Currently, there are hundreds of military veterans filing lawsuits against 3M for partial or permanent auditory damage. Minnesota-based 3M knowingly sold their Combat Arms earplugs to the United States government, though they were not up to military standards. The manufacturer also failed to warn users of the defect in these earplugs. Documents regarding 3M’s Combat Arms earplugs, which became standard issue earplugs for the American military, have found that employees of the manufacturer were aware of the defect in the earplugs as early as 2000.
If you or a loved one has been affected by 3M’s failure to disclose their product’s flaws, contact us immediately.
“Due to the widespread damage caused to veterans by 3M’s actions, these cases are just the tip of the iceberg of lawsuits that will be filed in order to hold 3M accountable,” Mo Aziz, one of the attorneys involved in the 3M lawsuit, said in a statement. (from www.MilitaryTimes.com)
Though this case was deemed resolved, veterans are still able to file their claim against 3M for punitive damages related to gross negligence leading to hearing loss.
3M’s Combat Arms earplugs have been discontinued. However, they were sold to the United States government until 2015, which means there could still be many American soldiers using these earplugs. To protect your loved ones, we recommend spreading this information to military friends, families, and veterans.
“3M essentially manipulated test results to make their Combat Arms earplugs seem safe for use when in fact they were far from safe. This resulted in 3M unfairly and unethically causing heroes that served our military potentially irreversible hearing loss.” – James Parrish, Esquire, the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC
How do I Know if I Qualify for a 3M Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuit?
Product liability cases hinge on establishing negligence. In a 3M Combat Arms earplug lawsuit, this means that you or your lawyer must provide evidence that demonstrates that you were harmed by the inaction of 3M to recall faulty protective equipment.
Establishing the negligence of another party often involves proving these four qualifiers:
- The liable party (3M in this case) owed you a duty of care
- They didn’t uphold this duty of care, as they sold unsafe ear plugs and didn’t warn users of potential consequences
- This failure exposed you to a product that caused you harm
- You suffered auditory injuries as a result
A product liability lawyer from our team can work with you to establish that your hearing damage was caused by these faulty earplugs that never should have been sold.
If You Are Experiencing Symptoms of Tinnitus, You May Qualify to File a Lawsuit
One of the primary complaints of 3M earplugs users is tinnitus. If you are a combat veteran suffering from tinnitus, and you used 3M earplugs, you may be eligible for compensation.
Tinnitus can cause a range of auditory symptoms, including:
- Ringing in the ears
- Buzzing in the ears
- Hissing in the ears
- Humming in the ears
- Rhythmic pulsing or whooshing in the ears
Tinnitus is particularly problematic because it can interfere with the victim’s lives. In severe cases, the ringing or buzzing may be a constant presence. This can make it difficult to hold conversations or go to sleep.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is usually caused by a problem in the auditory system. This system is composed of the ear, the inner ear, and the parts of the brain that process sound. Tinnitus is not a disease. Rather, it is a symptom of another underlying condition. Causes of tinnitus include:
- Noise-induced hearing damage
- Thyroid problems
- Hormone imbalances
- Heart disease
- Brain tumors
In the 3M lawsuits, noise-induced hearing damage is the likely cause of tinnitus.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss, seek medical attention. A doctor can diagnose your condition and propose a treatment plan. Documentation used in this diagnosis may also be helpful to your case against 3M.
Can You Cure Tinnitus?
According to the National Institute of Health, tinnitus does not yet have a cure. This is troubling news for those suffering from it. However, there are many treatment options that can help sufferers find relief from their symptoms, including:
- Wearable sound generators: These devices produce constant white noise that offsets the symptoms of tinnitus.
- Hearing aids: Tinnitus is often joined by hearing loss. Using hearing aids could restore some of your lost hearing and reduce tinnitus symptoms. Hearing aids often come with tinnitus relief technology, so be sure to ask about this feature.
- Therapy: For many, tinnitus becomes a permanent fixture in their lives. Therapy or counseling can help patients learn to deal with the frustration associated with tinnitus.
- Cochlear implants: Cochlear implants are inserted into the inner ear. These implants can bypass the damaged portion of the auditory system. In some cases, they can restore hearing and reduce the symptoms of tinnitus.
- Anti-anxiety medication: Falling asleep is oftentimes a challenge for those suffering from tinnitus. Anti-anxiety medication or antidepressants can be used to improve mood and help patients get a better night of sleep.
Many of these treatments are expensive. A personal injury settlement could offset these costs and compensate you for your “pain and suffering” and inconvenience.
What Was the Design Flaw?
After looking further into 3M’s Combat Arms earplugs, researchers have found that the earplugs were designed too short. Because of this, the earplugs fit loosely, shifting and rendering themselves useless when soldiers moved through military zones and war grounds.
3M Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuits Are Ongoing
As of August 2022, 3M still faces 230,000 lawsuits related to the sale of faulty earplugs. In August, 3M filed for bankruptcy. However, court rulings have stated that this does not protect 3M from further lawsuits.
So far, 3M has lost 10 of the 16 lawsuits involving their Combat Arms earplugs. These lawsuits have awarded $265 million in compensation to plaintiffs. Our team can advise you on participating in upcoming 3M Combat Arms earplugs lawsuits.
Work With a 3M Product Liability Lawyer Today
3M let our military suffer by allowing them to use products they manipulated to seem safe for combat environments. If you or a loved one has been affected by 3M’s Combat Arms earplugs, we can assist you in pursuing compensation for tinnitus or hearing loss. Contact the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation.