3M Combat Arms Earplug Litigation

Home » Mass Tort Cases » 3M Combat Arms Earplug Litigation

3M Combat Arms Earplug Signed Cases

Thousands of military veterans have sued 3M Company because of hearing damage caused by defective combat earplugs sold by the company to the Department of Defense. If your law firm is interested in helping veterans injured due to defective products, ZeroRisk Cases® can help.

The earplugs failed to keep a tight seal, allowing dangerously loud sounds to be heard by the wearer. The earplugs are too short for correct insertion, resulting in loosening without the person wearing them realizing it.

Defective earplugs injure service members

It’s alleged that Minnesota-based 3M Company defectively designed the earplugs and failed to warn users of the defect or to provide proper instructions for their use. Federal lawsuits filed across the country are consolidated in Pensacola, Florida.

Plaintiffs claim the defect caused hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and loss of balance in those who used the dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs during their military service between 2003 and 2015. The 3M Company is accused of selling the second version of their earplugs to the military without disclosing defects that decreased the actual effectiveness of the hearing protection the device supposedly offered.

Military personnel are constantly exposed to high levels of noise. Hearing loss and tinnitus remain the second most prevalent service-connected disabilities, according to a recent medical journal article. Much of the noise exceeds the maximum protection achievable with double hearing protection.

Unlike civilians, military personnel have little option but to stay in noisy environments in order to complete specific tasks and missions. The use of hearing protection devices and follow-up audiological tests have become the military’s main tools to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. Potentially dangerous levels of sound not only in happen in combat. They can occur on firing ranges, while near military vehicles, aircraft, and machinery.

3M has previously agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold its defective earplugs to the Defense Logistics Agency without disclosing defects that decreased the hearing protection, according to the Justice Department. The lawsuit by the U.S. government was brought under the False Claims Act. There was no determination of liability under the settlement.

3M accused of trying to cover up problems with earplugs

Plaintiffs allege 3M employees were aware of the defects as early as 2000. 3M’s own tests found the earplugs were defective, according to the Department of Justice, and the company falsified certification stating that the testing complied with military standards.

In 2006 the U.S. government entered into a contract with 3M to supply an estimated annual quantity of 15,000 earplug packages at a guaranteed price of at least $9 million in sales for the year. The earplugs were sold to the military until 2015, after the product was discontinued, but defective pairs were not recalled and may still be in use.

The Combat Arms earplugs are two-sided plugs. One side is designed to be used as a normal earplug while the other side is supposed to allow service members to hear a conversation, while at the same time blocking out loud noises.

The side that was supposed to allow hearing voices actually makes noises louder. Older foam earplugs used by the military in the past could cut noise levels by 30 to 40 decibels, the other side of the earplugs only cut noise by about 11 decibels. Despite knowing this, 3M sold them to the military. The earplugs were made by Indianapolis-based Aearo Technologies LLC, which is owned by the 3M Company.

How ZeroRisk Cases® can help your 3M combat earplug litigation practice grow

We have a division focusing only on generating leads for attorneys looking for mass tort litigation plaintiffs. We put all our energy and expertise into getting the highest quality cases for our clients.

We focus our advertising efforts on TV, radio, organic SEO (Google, Bing, Yahoo), Google Maps, Google Ads, Bing, Facebook and Instagram, but depending on your ideal client profile, we may turn to other platforms. Unlike other mass tort ad agencies, we have experience with a number of different ad platforms, so we can use just the right one to get the job done. We focus on mobile marketing, utilizing Voice Search, to capture some of the best and highest-converting leads.

We also use remarketing and behavioral targeting in our lead generation campaigns. Remarketing and behavioral targeting allow us to target the right people at the right time with the right message to get them on the phone.

Our latest technology utilizes our proprietary software that enables us to data mine information through third-party vendors, resulting in cases where leads have been matched with their medical histories, diagnosis, drug prescription, and treatments with exposure or usage of a caustic drug or chemical.  This significantly reduces the cost of acquisition and provides much higher value clients; one that has proof of usage or exposure; proof of diagnosis; and proof of treatment.

Why You Should Select Us As Your Mass Tort Case Acquisition Agency

Get started before your competitors do. There are only so many clients we can serve.




Need Assistance?