Veterans Suing 3M Over Faulty Combat Military Ear Plugs Which Caused Hearing Losss
UNITED STATES – Veterans of the United States military are suing company 3M over faulty ear plugs, according to an online news story reported by kxan.com. The veterans claim that the ear plugs did not adequately protect their ears from combat sounds, resulting in hearing loss and ear injuries.*
The ear plugs at issue were originally manufactured by Aearo Technologies, which was acquired by 3M during 2008. The plugs are supposed to protect members of the military from the harmful effects of loud combat noises, like gunshots and explosions. Lawsuits by numerous veterans allege that the plugs had a tendency to imperceptibly come loose, exposing service members to the risk of ear injury.
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.
In a federal lawsuit resolved in July 2018, 3M agreed to pay more than $9 million to reimburse the United States government for purchase of the ear plugs. In agreeing to the settlement, 3M did not admit that it did anything wrong. Now, plaintiff attorneys are moving for formation of a Multidistrict Litigation that would consolidate all of the individual civil lawsuits on behalf of veterans into one court in the Western District of Texas.
In response to an inquiry from KXAN, 3M reportedly issued a statement, saying, “3M has great respect for the brave men and women who protect us around the world. We have a long history of serving the U.S. military, and we continue to sell products, including safety products, to help our troops and support their missions.”
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