If you or a loved one were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan between 2003 and 2015 and currently suffer from hearing loss, you may have grounds for a product liability or mass tort claim. 3M's Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) have been deemed defective and have been tied to hearing loss in veterans.
At Ball, Kirk & Holm, P.C., we have decades of success in product liability cases and mass tort actions, as well as in other related personal injury cases. We can help you take action and seek justice for your suffering.
3M & Aearo Technologies Accused of Knowingly Selling Defective Combat Earplugs
Loud, harmful noises are unavoidable in combat zones. Without proper protection, military members exposed to these sounds can develop an array of hearing-related issues, ranging from tinnitus to partial or total hearing loss, which can be disabling. In fact, in 2003, auditory injuries were the third most common type of disability suffered by service members, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). In 2017, the VA reported that tinnitus and hearing loss (whether partial or total) topped the list of service-related disabilities.
From 2003 to 2015, CAEv2 earplugs, manufactured by 3M and Aearo Technologies, became the standard issue supplied to thousands of military service members on the ground and deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq. Ostensibly, the earplugs both blocked harmful noises (such as sounds emitted by explosions and gunfire) and allowed non-damaging sounds (such as talking) to be heard, depending on which way the earplugs were inserted.
However, a recent whistleblower lawsuit alleges that the manufacturer knew of a defect that caused the earplugs to loosen when inserted, rendering them ineffective. Thousands of service members who relied on the CAEv2 earplugs to protect their auditory systems were essentially unprotected. The lawsuit alleged that the manufacturer knew of the defect as far back as 2000, yet failed to recall the earplugs and, instead, knowingly sold them to United States military members despite the defect. Not only this, but the lawsuit also alleges that the manufacturer purposefully manipulated tests in order to falsify the earplugs’ effectiveness and ensure they meet governmental standards.
Damages Available in Defective 3M Earplug Lawsuits
Currently, 3M has agreed to settle for millions of dollars in damages, including $9.1 million to the government. You could be entitled to compensation for your damages if you suffered hearing loss, tinnitus, or another related hearing condition after using 3M earplugs as a military service member between 2003 and 2015.
Compensation may be available for the following damages:
- Medical expenses related to treatment for related hearing conditions/loss
- Lost income/wages
- Future medical costs
- Future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
At Ball, Kirk & Holm, P.C., we can help you fight for the justice and fair compensation you are owed. We are committed to holding negligent manufacturers accountable.
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Since 1958, our firm has been representing the rights of injured individuals throughout Iowa. Our Waterloo defective 3M earplug lawyers are experienced in handling these types of claims and can help you determine if you are eligible for compensation or to take part in a mass tort action. Throughout the process, we will provide you with answers to your questions and the care and compassion you deserve.
We genuinely care about our clients and are willing to go the extra mile to fight for them. We offer free initial consultations and effective advocacy from start to finish. When you choose to work with Ball, Kirk & Holm, P.C., you don’t just get one attorney working on your case—you get an entire legal team on your side.
Give us a call at (319) 220-0416 or fill out and submit an online contact form today to learn more about how our team can help you fight for the recovery you are owed. We proudly fight for clients in Waterloo, Iowa City and throughout the state of Iowa.