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3M Military Combat Ear Plugs

Defective 3M military combat earplugs

The attorneys of Baldante & Rubenstein are representing military veterans who have suffered hearing loss or tinnitus – a constant or intermittent ringing, whining, or buzzing sound in the ear due to the use of defective 3M military combat earplugs. 3M and its predecessor, Aero Technologies, Inc., sold Combat Arms Earplugs, version 2 (CAEv2) to the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015.  These were standard issue devices provided to thousands of service members. The CAEv2 were dual-ended earplugs with one yellow end and one black end.  The differing sides were designed for one end to block all sound while the other end would block loud noises while still allowing service members to hear verbal commands. It is alleged that 3M and Aero Technologies, knew the earplugs were too short for proper placement into service member’s ears.  In turn, this resulted in the earplugs loosening, without the user’s knowledge, and that they failed to provide adequate noise cancellation.  As a result, service members suffered hearing loss and/or tinnitus. In July 2018, 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million dollars to settle a United States Department of Justice (DOJ) whistleblower lawsuit that 3M knowingly sold the CAEv2, without disclosing the defects.  On February 14, 2019, Military Times reported that hundreds of veterans were filing lawsuits against 3M for manufacturing and selling the defective combat earplugs to the military.  The lawsuits allege that 3M designed the earplugs in a defective manner and failed to warn users of the defect or to provide proper instructions for their use. The lawsuit stated that since late 2003, 3M touted its Combat Arms earplugs of allowing users to hear commands from friendly soldiers and approaching enemy combatants, unimpaired, in the same way as if they had nothing in their ears, yet 3M knew about the earplugs defects as early as 2000, and although testing conducted by 3M found that the earplugs were defective, the company falsified certification stating that the testing complied with military standards.

If you or a loved one who served in the military suffered hearing loss or tinnitus after use of 3M Combat Earplugs, please immediately call the attorneys of Baldante & Rubenstein so that we can provide a timely free consultation for you, properly investigate your claim, and obtain justice for you from the responsible party.