U.S. Veterans have accused 3M of knowingly selling defective earplugs used for combat in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the United States. Soldiers who filed lawsuits claim that they now suffer from permanent hearing loss or tinnitus as a result of using the defective earplugs they were required to wear.
Some claim that manufacturers knew the earplugs were defective; others claim that they falsified the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of the earplugs, but continued to sell them to the military anyways. 3M has not admitted guilt, but agreed to pay $9.1 million to the military to settle the allegations.
The earplugs were originally advertised to be dual-ended. If the earplugs were inserted one way, it blocked out all noise; if it was inserted the other way, they protected from loud blasts, but still enabled soldiers to hear commands, conversations, and other certain noises.
Allegedly, the earplugs have a flange that is susceptible to loosening. They were also not long enough to protect the entire ear canal from loud noises. This caused veterans who were required to wear the earplugs to suffer hearing loss, tinnitus, and pain. Some veterans now require hearing aids and need regular medical treatments as a result of injury from the earplugs.
Have you been injured by 3M Combat Earplugs?
Brayton Purcell LLP has more than 35 years of experience in dealing with defective consumer products. We pride ourselves for holding those responsible for defects in design, manufacturing, and marketing accountable for their actions. Call our offices at 1-800-598-0314 or contact us here to see how we can help you today.