Earplugs Linked to Injuries in Military Veterans
Earplugs manufactured by 3M Corp. and sold to the United States military have been linked to injuries to veterans, including hearing loss and tinnitus. The Kansas City product liability attorneys at Goza & Honnold are reviewing cases on behalf of military veterans who have suffered hearing loss due to defective 3M earplugs, and Brad Honnold has been appointed to the Plaintiff Steering Committee for the 3M Combat Arms Earplug multidistrict litigation.
3M Contract with the U.S. Military
For more than a decade, 3M had an exclusive contract with the military to provide earplugs that were supposed to protect service members’ ears from combat noises. 3M bought Aearo Technologies Inc., which previously had a contract for exclusive earplug sales with the military.
In the summer of 2018, 3M agreed to settle claims that it sold the Combat Arms Earplugs to the military knowing that they were faulty. The lawsuit alleged that as early as 2000, the corporation knew its earplugs were the incorrect size, were prone to becoming loose, and did not adequately protect service members’ ears. Though not admitting fault, 3M paid more than $9 million to resolve the suit and to reimburse the federal government for the earplugs.
3M Earplug Injuries
The double-ended Version 2 of the Combat Arms Earplugs distributed to the military did not properly block out combat sounds, like gunfire and explosions, that were capable of causing injury. The earplugs’ inadequate protection led to development of the following injuries to veterans:
- Hearing loss in one or both ears
- Ringing, buzzing, or other noises in the ears (tinnitus)
- Dizziness and loss of balance
These issues can have serious effects on veterans’ lives, preventing them from working, socializing, or performing other activities they used to enjoy. Many veterans who suffered ear injuries because of 3M earplugs are also dealing with the mental and emotional consequences of hearing loss.
Contact Goza & Honnold, LLC
If you served in the military and developed hearing loss or other ear injuries after using earplugs issued to you, contact Goza & Honnold today. Our attorneys provide free case consultations and will help you understand whether you are eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. You can reach our office by calling (913) 451-3433 or by filling out the Contact form on our website.