Defective 3M Military Earplug Attorneys in Mississippi
Servicemembers Who Developed Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, or Loss of Balance
Could Be Eligible for Compensation
the Department of Justice received $9.1 million from 3M to settle claims the company had sold defective earplugs to the
U.S. military. The Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2), supplied to
servicemembers between 2003 and 2015, allegedly loosened while inside
soldiers’ ears due to fit issues. 3M has been accused of selling
these earplugs despite internal tests showing they were defective; while
corporate communications suggested user instructions should be changed
to guarantee the products were used effectively, there was no follow-through
on this point. Therefore, the testing conditions used to certify the earplugs
did not match in-field use. Servicemembers did not receive the promised
benefits, and now many of them are suffering for it.
Hearing protection is necessary on the battlefield, where gunfire, artillery,
far surpass safe decibel levels. The promise of 3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs was hearing
protection that didn’t impact communications between troops; one
end of the earplug was meant to deaden all noise, while the other would
let through commands and other discussions. In practice, the earplugs
failed to selectively block noise, leaving users vulnerable in too-loud
Now, servicemembers who depended on these earplugs for protection are experiencing
hearing loss and related problems. If you are suffering from one of these
issues after using 3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs, you could
be able to file for compensation. The company’s decision to release
a defective product—especially to the brave troops who volunteer
to defend our country—was unacceptable. Those behind this decision
must be held accountable for their dishonesty.
Call Richard Schwartz & Associates, P.A. at (601) 869-0696 if you experienced hearing damage from defective 3M earplugs. We are here
to represent servicemembers throughout Mississippi.
Hearing Damage and Its Symptoms
hearing damage caused by the defective 3M earplugs has manifested in 3 main ways among victims:
- Hearing Loss
- Loss of Balance
While some cases are less serious than others, any type of hearing loss
can disrupt someone’s life. In some cases, auditory processing issues
can make it difficult to hold conversations or listen to instructions
on the job. Tinnitus can also interfere with communications, as many patients
find the non-stop noise extremely distracting. Partial or total hearing
loss requires ongoing accommodations and healthcare for patients; it also
makes navigating daily life more difficult. Between increased medical
costs and the difficulties damaged hearing causes in patients’ lives,
there is a clear argument for compensation. Data gathered from servicemembers
who are now suffering from such issues shows the scope of the problem.
Tinnitus Caused by Hearing Damage
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has noted
more veterans experience tinnitus than any other disability. The organization pays benefits to 2.7 million veterans for tinnitus,
spending more than $1 billion annually on this issue alone.
Patients with tinnitus all hear “phantom” sounds when in quiet environments, but
the condition’s presentation can vary. For some, the issue is specific
to one ear; for others, it affects both. The pitch and volume of the phantom
sounds can both vary, from a barely noticeable background hum to noises
so loud they interfere with a patient’s hearing. Tinnitus is an
irregular problem for some, but constant for others.
The noises tinnitus sufferers hear may include:
Unfortunately, there is no known treatment to cure tinnitus that was caused
by hearing damage. A doctor may be able to help you find ways to cope
with the inconvenience, but its effects will remain present in your life.
How Hearing Loss Affects Quality of Life
Aside from the very obvious medical costs and difficulties hearing loss
causes in the workplace and relationships, it can also have intense mental
and emotional impacts. A study of veterans found that, of those with tinnitus:
- 72% also had an anxiety diagnosis
- 59% also had a depression diagnosis
- Veterans with one or both mental health issues had more severe tinnitus
symptoms than patients without these diagnoses
Along with depression and anxiety,
patients who suffer from tinnitus may also experience:
- Struggles to concentrate
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased irritability/frustration
- Memory issues
- Mood swings
Such complications can impact nearly every part of a patient’s life
and make it much harder for them to find enjoyable and fulfilling experiences.
Those who are facing these difficulties can reach out to our team to learn
about their options.
Take Legal Action Against 3M for Selling Defective Earplugs
3M’s executives made the decision to lie about the product they were
offering to our troops so they could land a multi-million-dollar deal
with the U.S Government. Now, thousands and thousands of lives have been
affected by their negligence. Any servicemembers who are suffering hearing
loss after using the Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs made by 3M are eligible
to file a lawsuit against the company. We urge you to take this opportunity
so you can receive compensation to ease your current struggles.
By signing up to serve our country, you showed you were willing to risk
your life for other Americans. However, the sacrifices made while serving
should never include unnecessary injury caused by defective products.
Our team at Richard Schwartz & Associates, P.A. is here to stand up
for the veterans who are now facing hearing difficulties due to the defective
earplugs they were given. Please contact our team to learn more about
your rights if you think you have a case.
Call our Mississippi team at (601) 869-0696 or reach out online to schedule a free consultation. We want to help you bring 3M to justice
for their dishonest business practices.