3M Earplugs Found to Contribute to Hearing Loss
It is an inevitability of military service that those enlisted will encounter incredibly loud noise from a variety of sources. A number of positions across several military branches all come with unique noise hazards that have the potential to cause permanent damage to the ears when the proper safety equipment is not worn or if it malfunctions. In the case of the company 3M’s dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 or CAEv2 earplugs, this is just the case.
3M and their recent acquisition Aearo Technologies have recently become the targets of a number of product liability lawsuits after a whistleblower exposed how they knowingly provided CAEv2 combat earplugs to the United States Military for use among troops despite being aware of critical design defects. These defects were found to cause severe damage to the hearing of those that used them in high noise environments.
3M Earplug Product Liability Claims
The consequences of 3M’s defective CAEv2 earplugs can be quite severe. Hearing loss, as well as tinnitus, can cause severe damages to a person which can include medical expenses for doctor visits, therapy, and hearing aid devices. There is also the damage that can be done to a person’s earning capabilities if their work requires them to have good hearing. They could lose their job and be unable to pursue similar jobs in the future. Lastly, there is the pain and suffering that can come with losing the effectiveness of one of the senses you rely on every day.
These damages can all be compensated through a product liability claim that holds those whose negligence lead to your loss of hearing responsible for what they have done. Product liability claims require a plaintiff to prove that the injury that they suffered was the result of negligence on a liable party’s part. Product liability claims should never be undertaken alone or you can run the risk of reducing the value of your claim or have it denied outright. Consider speaking to the lawyers of Dolman Law Group about your case and what they can do to help. To schedule a free consultation either call our Clearwater office at 727-451-6900 or contact us online.
3M Earplugs Injure thousands of U.S. Troops
The United States military purchased large quantities of 3M’s CAEv2 combat earplugs for use among troops between 2003 to 2015. Aearo Technologies and 3M supplied a maximum of 2.2 million earplugs to the U.S. military. They were distributed among troops that were deployed to the following engagements.
- The Iraq War
- War in Afghanistan
- Operation Ocean Shield in the Indian Ocean
- The war in North-West Pakistan (part of War on Terror)
- War in Somalia
- Intervention in Libya (2011- part of Libyan Crisis)
- American-led intervention in Iraq (2014 – 2017)
- American-led intervention in Syria (2014 to present)
- Yemeni Civil War (2015 to present)
- American Intervention in Libya (2015 to present)
CAEv2 Earplug Defects
The earplugs that 3M and Aearo Technologies put out were meant to provide the unique ability of providing hearing protection for the user against high volume noises with the additional function of providing the ability to hear lower volume sounds while maintaining the louder sound protection. This was supposed to be achieved through a double-sided design where a soldier would have one side that would work as a traditional earplug and block out all sound while another would block out high volume sounds while allowing quieter ones to pass through to be heard. This function is especially attractive to the military since there are situations where explosions and gunfire need to be muffled while communication among troops is still essential. Unfortunately for many soldiers, the design of the CAEv2 earplugs had an enormous flaw. While the design worked in theory, the earplug proved to be much too short so that many soldiers could not properly fit them into their ears or the earplug would come loose and be rendered useless.
3M Knowledge of CAEv2 EarPlug Defects
One of the primary points of that many lawsuits filed against 3M over their defective earplugs is the fact that they had prior knowledge of the earplug’s defect and the danger it posed but still went forward and sold them. Their competitor, Moldex-Metric, developed their own double-sided earplugs and discovered that 3M’s design had a massive flaw. They further determined that 3M likely falsified study data and test results to make their product look ready and safe resulting in Moldex-Metric blowing the whistle on the negligent product.
Hearing Damage Injuries Caused by Defective Earplugs
Hearing damage is among the most common injuries suffered by those serving in the United States military. Those that have used CAEv2 earplugs are at immense risk of suffering partial or total hearing loss, and tinnitus. These injuries have no cures and are typically permanent causing long-term issues for a person’s quality of life.
Seek an Experienced Florida Product Liability Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured by a product that failed when it was used as intended, contact the seasoned and dedicated product liability legal team of Dolman Law Group today. Our lawyers specialize in handling claims such as these and can provide a wealth of experience as well as resources that can benefit your claim. When you enlist the assistance of Dolman Law Group you ensure that your case is placed in the hands of lawyers that will fight for your right to compensation and aggressively pursue a settlement you can be satisfied with.
Dolman Law Group offers free consultations to discuss your product liability situation, and in appropriate cases may agree to represent clients on a contingency fee basis in which we collect our legal fees only if we recover a settlement or judgment for our client. When products fail and harm consumers, Dolman Law Group is ready to help. To schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers, contact us online or call our office today at 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756