Lawsuits alleging the manufacturing giant, 3M, knowingly sold defective earplugs to the military will be consolidated in Florida federal court, and will be adjudicated in the North District of Florida in Tallahassee. This consolidates eight lawsuits from California, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Texas federal courts, as well as 635 related actions in more than 30 federal courts.
In July, 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million to settle a whistleblower False Claims Act lawsuit that accused the company of knowingly selling defective earplugs to the military. According to the government’s lawsuit, 3M employees allegedly were aware of the earplug defects as early as 2000, but continued selling them to the military. The lawsuit contends the earplugs were too short and did not fit into users’ ears properly, causing them to loosen, exposing users to loud combat noise.
Military Members Affected
Unfortunately, 3M’s settlement with the federal government does nothing to help the thousands of soldiers who have suffered permanent hearing damage because they were issued and used these defective earplugs. Individual service members and veterans across the country are now filing or have the right to file individual claims alleging the defective earplugs caused them injuries.
If you wore the dual-sided Combat Arms Earplugs for hearing protection while serving from 2003-2015, and were exposed to exploding bombs, artillery fire, or ordnance and have hearing loss, tinnitus, or inner ear balance issues, you may be entitled to compensation. When considering legal representation, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney experienced in product liability cases, who has the experience and resources to vigorously pursue justice on your behalf. Consider contacting our case manager, U.S. Navy veteran Joseph Jones, LT, USN (LDO Law) Retired for a free consultation.