Military men and women are often in close proximity to equipment and activity that can damage their hearing. Unfortunately, the company that supplied ear protection to the military issued a defective earplug that led to irreversible hearing damage for members of our armed forces. If you are a military member who suffered hearing loss during your service, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact the Wendt Law Firm, P.C. today to schedule a free initial consultation with our 3M earplug lawsuit attorneys in Kansas City.
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When to Talk to an Attorney About Your Hearing Loss
If you are a member of the armed forces and suffered hearing loss, it may be the result of a defective earplug. The government filed a lawsuit against 3M stemming from the widespread hearing loss of its service members between 2003 and 2015. If you served during that time and suffered the effects of hearing loss or damage, contact a Kansas City 3M earplug lawsuit attorney to discuss your claim as soon as possible.
A Matter of Product Liability
The manufacturer of a selective attenuation plug, 3M, may be responsible for the hearing loss of thousands of members of the military. A selective attenuation plug, when functioning properly, allows some sounds in unhindered and blocks other frequencies that could damage hearing. Unfortunately, court documents indicate that the earplugs were too short and would often loosen in the wearer’s ear. This loosening was imperceptible, which means many military members suffered hearing loss without realizing it. Repeated exposure to these high impulse noises has resulted in hearing loss and tinnitus in many former servicemen and women.
What’s worse, the lawsuit the government filed against 3M stated that the manufacturer knew about the problem since 2000. As the exclusive provider of earplugs to the military between 2003 and 2015, they claimed the earplugs met the military’s safety standards.
In 2003, the same year that 3M became the exclusive supplier of earplugs to the armed forces, there was a sudden and significant increase of cases of hearing loss and tinnitus, which persisted through 2012. That year, there were 971,000 reported cases of tinnitus and 774,384 cases of hearing loss. The following year, when 3M models phased out, the tinnitus cases dropped to 135,299 and hearing loss cases to 80,196.
In 2018, military contractor 3M Company settled the lawsuit for $9.1 million. They admitted to selling the military defective earplugs, the 3M Combat Arms earplugs Version 2. The company sold without disclosing that the plugs might fail to prevent hearing loss.
The government received compensation for the losses it suffered, but many military members have yet to receive compensation. Eligible service members may be able to join a mass tort action against the manufacturer. Joining a mass tort action may provide compensation for injuries, pain, and suffering.
Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation
The men and women who serve and protect our country deserve to be equipped with the best quality gear available. Unfortunately, 3M displayed a flagrant disregard for their safety and well-being.
If you served in the military between 2003 and 2015 and suffered hearing damage while wearing 3M military earplugs, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. Contact the attorneys at Wendt Law Firm, P.C. today to schedule a free review of your legal options.