Montlick & Associates, named “Most Patriotic Business of 2011” by the Association of the U.S. Army is investigating potential legal claims involving 3M’s dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs (dual-ended combat arms earplugs, version 2, caev2) that have caused numerous combat veterans to suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hearing loss and deafness. If you are a combat veteran who served in the military between 2003 and 2015, and you have experienced ringing in the ears or hearing loss, you may be entitled to compensation. Learn more by speaking with Montlick & Associates today. Contact us Nationwide toll-free for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or use our 24/7 live chat.*
In July of 2018, 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million to the United States to settle claims alleging that 3M’s Combat Arms earplugs were defective and that such defects caused numerous combat veterans to sustain hearing loss and ringing in the ears. 3M’s settlement with the United States has shed light on how many combat veterans may be suffering at the expense of defective earplugs. Unfortunately, combat veterans who suffered because of 3M’s earplugs are not entitled to any of the settlement proceeds from the recent lawsuit, which are going back to the U.S. Government and the whistleblower.
However, combat veterans (especially those who served for the Army and Marines) who used 3M’s Combat Arms earplugs are eligible to pursue individual lawsuits against 3M to obtain compensation for their injuries. While the government was certainly harmed by 3M’s defective earplugs, the true victims are those suffering from chronic ringing in the ears and partial or complete hearing loss.
Aearo Technologies created the dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs that 3M eventually acquired in 2008, when 3M purchased Aearo and hired many of Aearo’s employees who were also involved in the development and testing of the earplugs. The Department of Justice asserts that Dual-Ended combat Arms Earplugs used by the military between 2003 and 2015 were defective, and that certain Aearo employees who went on to work for 3M were aware of the problems. That lawsuit alleged that employees knew that the earplugs could, on their own, loosen in a person’s ears, causing the sound to penetrate and damage the ears, resulting in permanent damage to the ear. The reason for this was because the earplugs were too short and could not be inserted deeply into some people's ears. As such, during testing, individuals were told to manually manipulate the earplugs to obtain a proper fit. As a result, the earplugs did not work correctly for many who wore them.
According to the lawsuit, while Aearo, and subsequently, 3M, apparently knew that the Combat Arms earplugs had problems, they did not share this information with the United States and instead submitted a bid to become the military’s sole provider of combat earplugs. In other words, it is alleged that Aearo/3M concealed information from the government, obtained an exclusive contract, and went on to sell defective earplugs that the military used between 2003 and 2015. Because 3M purchased Aearo in 2008, 3M is liable for Aearo’s prior conduct with regard to the Combat Arms earplugs.
In the case of the 3M Combat Arms earplugs, it seems is clear from the details of the $9.1 million settlement that the Combat Arms earplugs were defective. Not only were the Combat Arms earplugs defectively designed, but Aearo / 3M failed to warn both the military and service members that the earplugs would need to be manually manipulated to get a proper fit. Instead, Aearo / 3M chose to move forward knowing that the earplugs may not work as intended, posing a serious risk of harm to thousands of members of our U.S. Military.
When pursuing a product liability claim, injured victims allege a variety of legal claims regarding the design and manufacture of a product. Regarding the 3M Combat Arms earplugs, injured victims can likely allege the following:
Products liability lawsuits are complex legal actions that typically involve extensive use of experts and often invoke questions of federal as well as state laws and cases. Our products liability attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law and affiliated co-counsel help our clients navigate through complicated defective products claims and lawsuits and strive to maximize the value of their cases under the law.
Now that the public is learning about 3M’s Combat Arms earplugs and the settlement arising from their defective design, victims are likely to seek the help of lawyers who will undoubtedly begin filing lawsuits against 3M. One army veteran in Texas has recently filed a lawsuit against 3M, blaming the company for his permanent hearing damage, which includes chronic tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and partial hearing loss. While tinnitus and hearing loss may not result in physical pain, the consequences can be permanent, physically debilitating, and also result in emotional distress.
A combat veteran suffering from severe tinnitus or hearing loss may require a hearing aid or other type of treatment, but such treatment will likely not undo or cure the damage that has already been done, especially if there is a total loss of hearing. A combat veteran may need to adjust his or her daily life, not be able to work in the desired job, or no longer be able to effectively communicate with others. Military veterans who lost their hearing as a result of their reliance on 3M Combat Arms Earplugs may have valuable product liability claims against the company. Our attorneys at Montlick & Associates understand the severity of hearing loss as well as the resulting hardship, including costly medical care, lost income, disability, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. Our firm also has a long history of support of our military and is prepared to vigorously fight for our military clients.
It depends. Every state creates unique laws and statutes of limitation regarding how much time an injured victim has to pursue a lawsuit. Additionally, the type of lawsuit plays a role in defining the time frame for pursuing legal action. For example only, the period for filing a product liability lawsuit as opposed to a breach of contract claim or others can significantly vary. However, because many cases are dismissed for being filed beyond the time limitations for pursuing legal action, it is always best to immediately contact a lawyer as soon as you believe you may have a claim. For instance, if you just found out about 3M’s settlement with the United States, and you suffered some type of hearing loss because you are a combat veteran who used 3M/Aearo Technology’s Combat Arms earplugs, you should act quickly to discuss your injuries with one of our attorneys. Waiting too long can compromise your legal rights. Do not delay in seeking legal assistance, as you have a limited amount of time to pursue a claim.
Currently, it appears that 3M Combat Arms Earplug plaintiffs are not prevented from making claims as a result of the recent settlement. The settlement between 3M and the United States dealt with the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, and not combat veterans’ individual injuries. If you believe you have suffered hearing loss or tinnitus due to your use of 3M Combat Arms earplugs, contact our lawyers at Montlick & Associates to learn about your legal rights as well as what steps can be taken to protect those rights.
Lawsuits and settlements can be quick and resolve in as little as one year, but many lawsuits take two or more years, especially those dealing with thousands of injured victims. Because we anticipate there will be a significant number of injured combat veterans, the entire 3M Combat Arms Earplug litigation may take several years. However, our firm is dedicated to recovering the maximum compensation under the law to which our clients are entitled, no matter how long it takes.
At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we understand how devastating a serious injury can be for your entire family, resulting in staggering medical expenses, lost income, and disability. Injured victims may be entitled to substantial financial recoveries for their damages, including compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of consortium, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages may also be warranted due to egregious conduct, if it is established that Aearo/3M failed to warn the military of a known defect.
At Montlick & Associates, we utilize all possible resources to fight for our clients’ legal rights with the goal of obtaining compensation that is fair given the extent and severity of a client’s injuries. While we cannot guarantee that a particular client’s case will be successful, our firm has a proven track record of success in protecting injured people and getting them the compensation they deserve.
Our 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Hearing Loss Claims Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, offer a free consultation to evaluate your legal rights and options, as well as what steps can be taken to protect those rights.
Montlick & Associates Has Recovered Billions of Dollars in Compensation for its Clients
Veterans who have filed lawsuits thus far against 3M claim that they have suffered hearing loss and constant ringing in the ear (a condition known as tinnitus). They also claim that 3M knew about the potential problems with these ear plugs and knowingly sold them in a defective state to the military.
At Montlick & Associates, we strive to provide the best legal representation possible to our injured clients. Our team of trial lawyers and affiliated co-counsel handle not only 3M Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuits, but also defective drug and medical device cases, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and neglect, construction accidents, auto accidents, and workers’ compensation, among other personal injury matters.**
Montlick & Associates has a long history of supporting our military community. Visit our "Tribute to the Troops and Veterans" page to learn more about our military support programs. Additionally, the firm has received the following recognition for its efforts:
At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we understand how devastating an injury from a faulty product can be for you and your family, involving costly medical care, lost income, loss of quality of life, disability, psychological harm, pain and suffering, and other contributing factors that cause hardship. Our 3M ear plug hearing loss claims attorneys offer a no obligation free consultation so that we can evaluate your legal rights and potential legal remedies, as well as the actions necessary to protect those rights.
To find out whether you have a potential legal claim, contact our law firm today for a free case analysis. No matter where you are located, our hearing loss attorneys are here for you. Contact us nationwide 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Chat at Montlick.com.
*Legal Services are provided by Montlick & Associates, P.C. and/or, if necessary, local associated law firms at no additional cost to you depending on the jurisdiction, and any specialized expertise required. For more information, click here.
**Billions of dollars recovered are cumulative and do not reflect individual results.