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3M Combat Arms Earplug Lawyers

3M Combat Arms Earplugs (referred to as “yellow jackets”), standard issue in every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces from 2003 through 2015, may have caused hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women to suffer noise-induced deafness, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), and other permanent hearing impairments.

Recently, the 3M Company agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly supplied defective Combat Arms Earplugs to the U.S. military. So far, however, it has yet to compensate any veterans or active duty personnel the earplugs may have harmed.

Hearing Loss or Tinnitus After Using 3M Combat Arms Earplugs? Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation.

In the past five years alone, our Undefeated Defective Product Lawyers have won over $1 billion and successfully represented thousands of clients across the United States who were injured by dangerously defective products.

If you used 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs during active duty from 2003 through 2015, and suffered service-related hearing loss or tinnitus, our Experienced and Undefeated Defective Product Lawyers can help.

For a Free Consultation, please call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.

3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2

Permanent deafness, tinnitus, and other hearing impairments are by far the most prevalent service-connected disabilities affecting U.S. military veterans.  As of 2014, in fact, more than 933,000 veterans were receiving disability benefits for hearing loss.  An additional 1.3 million received benefits  for tinnitus.

For that reason, hearing protection is mandatory and standard-issue for active-duty personnel during training exercises and combat deployments.

In 2003, Aearo Technologies Inc. won an exclusive contract to supply Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, to the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency. The contract eventually passed to the 3M Company upon its acquisition of Aearo Technologies in 2008.

As the name implies, 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, featured a dual-ended design. The olive-green end functioned like a traditional earplug, blocking all sound. The yellow end blocked damaging impact noises common on the battlefield, but allowed the wearer to hear commands and other low-level sounds

$9.1 Million 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Settlement

For over a decade, thousands of Americans relied on 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs while deployed to the:

  • Iraq War (“OIF/Operation Iraqi Freedom”)
  • War in Afghanistan (“OEF/Operation Enduring Freedom”)
  • Operation Ocean Shield in the Indian Ocean
  •  War on Terror North-West Pakistan (part War on Terror)
  • War in Somalia
  • 2011 Intervention in Libya
  • American-led intervention in Syria (2014 to present)
  • Yemeni Civil War (2015 to present)
  • American Intervention in Libya (2015 to present)

In accordance with its contract, the 3M Company certified that Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, met all military standards. Therefore, the earplugs were to be free of defects and accompanied by adequate “Instructions for Use”

In 2018, however, the U.S. Justice Department announced a $9.1 million settlement to resolve claims that 3M supplied Combat Arms Earplugs to the military without disclosing dangerous defects.

“Properly made safety equipment, for use by our Soldiers, is vital to our military’s readiness,” Frank Robey, director of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit, said in a statement. “Our agents will respond robustly to protect the safety of our military.”

Tests Revealed 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Defects in 2000

The 3M Company marketed Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2  as a “pre-molded triple flange design” that fit most ears. According to federal prosecutors, however, the earplugs’ stems were too short to ensure a proper fit. They could also loosen during use without the wearer even noticing.

Consequently, 3M Combat Arms Earplugs exposed thousands of users to dangerous impact sounds that could permanently damage their hearing.

Aearo Technologies allegedly discovered these defects during tests conducted in 2000. Subsequent re-tests suggested the issues were mitigated when flanges on the un-inserted end were pulled back prior to placement.

Rather than disclose these flaws, however, 3M falsely certified that Combat Arms Earplugs met military contract standards. Moreover, the earplugs’ “Instruction for Use” failed to direct wearers to push back the flanges to achieve a proper fit.

Are You a Veteran Suffering Hearing Loss After Using the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs?

Contact Our 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawyers for a Free Consult at 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here

Having won over $1 Billion and successfully represented thousands of people across the United States against the largest companies in the world, our Undefeated Defective Product Lawyers have the experience and resources to ensure you and your family are fully compensated for all of your injuries and losses.

You fought for your country.  Let our Undefeated Defective Product Lawyers fight for you.

All consultations are free, and because we only represent clients for a contingency fee, you won’t owe anything unless we win your case.

Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a Confidential Email through our Contact Form.