U.S. Military veterans may be suffering from hearing loss and related problems after receiving defective hearing protection while in the service.
Safety gear supplier 3M Company agreed to pay $9.1million to the United States for selling defective earplugs to the military from 2003 – 2015.
The double-sided Combat Arms Earplugs, version 2, were distributed to active duty military personnel both domestically for training purposes and overseas while deployed. These earplugs were represented to provide substantial hearing protection and contained no warnings about increased risk of hearing loss.
Designed to have two different functions, the yellow and black earplugs couple be placed yellow-side in for individuals to block loud impulse sounds while allowing quieter noises through. When the black ends were inserted the earplugs were supposed to block as much sound as possible.
However, the design of the earplugs was such that they could loosen if users didn’t fold back the flange on the outside end of the product – and this step was not included in instructions that came in the product package.
Thousands of our U.S. military members and veterans were likely exposed to these defective earplugs over the past 15 years. In addition to being provided by the military for use, the products were available for purchase at supply stores on and near bases.
Hearing loss and tinnitus has been reported in service-members who received the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs. These conditions can be significant enough to warrant disability ratings by doctors. Additionally, the long-term impacts of hearing loss and tinnitus may result in cognitive decline.
If you or a loved one suffers from hearing loss or tinnitus after active duty military service during the years 2003 – 2015, call the attorneys at Egerton Law for a free consultation. We can help you determine whether your injuries are the result of exposure to the defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs.