How defective combat earplugs can cause long-term problems
Have you lost your hearing or developed tinnitus—a ringing in your ears—after serving in the military?
If you served between 2003 and 2015, were issued two-sided black and yellow earplugs, and have developed hearing loss or tinnitus, you may be eligible for financial compensation in a large lawsuit.
Here are the details: Military service members were issued 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs from 2003 to 2015. One side of the earplugs would allow low-intensity sounds through, such as speaking, and the other side would muffle sound more. They were the only dual-sided earplugs issued by the military.
Unfortunately, they didn’t work.
“The earplugs didn’t maintain a tight seal and allowed dangerously loud sounds to slip through without the wearer knowing,” according to the Military Times.
Signs of injury from these defective earplugs include hearing loss, tinnitus, and even loss of balance.
“To date, thousands of veterans have filed lawsuits against 3M claiming the earplugs were defective and led to their noise-induced hearing loss and/or tinnitus,” according to a legal article on the lawsuit.
If you’ve suffered hearing loss or developed tinnitus after military service, you’re not alone.
“Tinnitus is the number-one disability among veterans and affects at least 1 in 10 American adults,” according to the Veterans Administration.
If you’re not sure if you have tinnitus, here are some signs: It can sound like ringing, buzzing, a high-pitched whistle, or hissing. Another sign of hearing damage is when you have difficulty understanding speech, even if you score normally on a hearing test. This is called auditory processing disorder and is often linked to blast exposure, according to the VA.
As of 2014, the VA was paying upwards of $1.5 billion every year to nearly two million veterans suffering from hearing loss and tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association. The long-term effects of tinnitus can be debilitating, according to the ATA.
“People with tinnitus often experience distress, depression, anxiety, frequent mood swings, sleep disturbances, irritability or frustration, poor concentration [and] pain,” the ATA writes.
In a 2014 survey of 1,100 people, the ATA found that only 38% of people with tinnitus can function normally. The remaining 62% said that tinnitus disturbs their sleep and isolates them socially. It also wears on friends, family members and coworkers when a tinnitus sufferer has difficulty socializing, communicating, or concentrating.
The economic impact of tinnitus can cost up to $30,000 per person every year. Two percent of those surveyed by the ATA were unable to work at all.
This is why Foley & Small has joined hundreds of other firms in the U.S. to get compensation for veterans who lost their hearing or developed problems from these defective earplugs.
This lawsuit may be overdue as, according to the Military Times, there is some evidence in a 2016 lawsuit against 3M that there were employees who knew about the earplug defects as early as 2000. However, the Military Times says, the company falsified certification on its testing so the government contract would be approved, which earned 3M about $9 million in 2006 alone.
The earplugs continued to be sold until 2015, when 3M discontinued the product, but it didn’t recall the earplugs. This means there could be defective earplugs still being used by soldiers and others today.
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://wsbt.com/sponsored/foley-small/how-defective-combat-earplugs-can-cause-long-term-problems
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