If you served in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015, you may have been issued defective Combat Arms earplugs manufactured by Aearo Technologies, a company that was later purchased by 3M. The earplugs are dual-ended and are supposed to block varying levels of noise depending on which side is used. However, the earplugs’ design is defective and doesn’t provide adequate hearing protection, exposing service members to damaging levels of noise during combat and training operations.
The U.S. Department of Justice sued 3M after determining that both it and Aearo Technologies falsely claimed that the Combat Arms earplugs met the U.S. government’s standards for hearing protection. As a result of the defect, thousands of military personnel were exposed to noise levels that can result in serious damage to the ear and symptoms such as tinnitus—a persistent ringing sound—and permanent hearing loss. 3M ultimately paid the U.S. government a $9.1 million settlement.
If you or someone you love experienced hearing loss or tinnitus after serving in any branch of the U.S. military, you may be eligible for compensation, as the problem may be due to defective earplugs. At Lowell Stanley Injury Lawyers, we honor people who chose to serve our country, and that includes fighting for their rights when negligent corporations put them at risk unnecessarily because of defective products. Contact our Norfolk defective product lawyers today for a free consultation.