Company to pay $9 million after allegedly selling defective combat earplugs to US military
A contracting company agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold the U.S. military defective earplugs.
The Minnesota-based 3M Company allegedly sold its dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, to the Defense Logistics Agency without disclosing defects that decreased the actual effectiveness of the hearing protection the device offered.
“Government contractors who seek to profit at the expense of our military will face appropriate consequences,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division in a Thursday press release.
The allegations were brought against 3M through the enforcement of the False Claims Act, according to the release. Although the case has been resolved, all claims within the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.
In the settlement, the U.S. government alleged that 3M and its predecessor, Aearo Technologies, Inc., were aware that the earplugs were too short for proper insertion into users’ ears. As a result, the earplugs could gradually — and subtly — loosen until they did not perform the desired noise cancellation for certain individuals, according to the DoJ release.
The United States also alleged that 3M did not disclose this design defect to the military when the contract was finalized.
Defense contractor sentenced to five years for defrauding more than $15 million
A North Carolina-based defense contractor was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday for defrauding the government of more than $15 million through two separate conspiracies.
The lawsuit’s allegations were brought about under whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. That law allows private parties to sue on behalf of the government if they believe the lawsuit’s defendants submitted false claims for government funds. Also, the law allows whistleblowers to share in any funds recovered from a successful lawsuit.
As part of Thursday’s resolution, the whistleblower will receive $1,911,000, according to the DoJ.
“This settlement demonstrates the commitment of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and our law enforcement partners to hold companies accountable for supplying substandard products, in particular products that could directly impact our service members’ health and welfare,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig, Jr., from the DCIS Mid-Atlantic Field Office. “DCIS protects the integrity of Defense Department programs by rooting out fraud, waste, and abuse that negatively affect the well-being of our troops.”
The settlement was ultimately the result of a joint effort by the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina, the Army Criminal Investigation Command, and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.
More 3M earplug lawsuit information you may be interested in:
- 2 vets to get $110M in 3M earplugs suit
- $22.5 Million Verdict in 3M Combat Earplug Trial
- 3M loses latest in series of military earplug cases
- Bellwether Military Earplug Verdicts Underscores Importance of Establishing Government-Contractor Defense
- 3M earplug cases sent to state court as federal bellwether dropped
- 3M Wins Lawsuit Over Military-Issued Earplugs
- Pensacola jury awards $7.1 million in bellwether case over defective 3M military earplugs
- 3M hit with $6MM punitive damages by U.S. jury in first combat earplug trial
- 3M Forces VA Doctor to Testify About Hearing Exam
- 3M Combat Arms MDL Passes Asbestos as Largest Ever
- Lawsuits against 3M moved to federal court
- 3M Earplug, Roundup, and Hernia Mesh Lawsuits Spike in 2019
- Lawsuit says 3M combat arms earplugs don’t work, cause hearing loss for soldiers
- How defective combat earplugs can cause long-term problems
- Parker Waichman initiates over 500 3M earplug lawsuits
- 3M Combat Earplugs Lawsuit | File Before Trials Start April 2021
- 3M Military Combat Arms Earplug Lawsuit
- 53 Lawyers Appointed to Lead 3M Earplug Lawsuits
- MDL Panel Sends Military Service Member’s Lawsuits Faulting 3M Earplugs to Northern District of Florida
- The Pentagon Has Settled A Lawsuit Over Allegedly Defective 3M Earplugs. Now Veterans Are Suing, Too.
- 3M settlement shows how little we care if veterans come home whole
- 3M Conducts Faulty Testing to Obtain Exclusive Military Contract on Earplugs
- Army settlement with earplug maker may lead to more suits by veterans
- Vets with Hearing Loss May Have Defective 3M Earplugs to Blame
- Tinnitus Anyone? 3M Covered Up Its Defective Military Earplugs Since 2000
- Contractor Settles for $9.1M after Providing Defective Earplugs for Troops
- 3M will pay $9M over defective military earplugs
- 3M settles defective combat earplug case for $9.1 million
- Company to pay $9 million after allegedly selling defective combat earplugs to US military
See the full, original post here: https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/07/26/company-to-pay-9-million-after-allegedly-selling-defective-combat-earplugs-to-us-military/
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