Many veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have since reported suffering from hearing loss, with effects ranging from persistent tinnitus to total hearing loss. However, many veterans don’t know that their standard-issue combat earplugs could be to blame.
If you served in the military and now have hearing problems, you don’t have to suffer in silence. A Waxahachie 3M combat earplugs lawsuit lawyer from our Waxahachie product liability attorney team will do all they can to recover compensation for you. Our Waxahachie personal injury lawyers offer free case evaluations, so you can learn about your eligibility to file a lawsuit with no cost or obligation.
Why Are 3M Combat Earplugs Defective?
The government sets certain standards for all military-issued equipment. These standards are meant to protect the health and welfare of all servicemembers. However, 3M knowingly sold faulty combat earplugs to the military, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to ConsumerNotice.org, 3M combat earplugs work through selective attenuation, which means they can be inserted in two different directions to suit the user’s preferences. In one direction, a user could block out some sound while still hearing speech (such as directions from their commander), while the other direction should block all noises, including harmful sounds such as gunfire or explosions.
3M’s combat earplugs are cone-shaped, with a central stem that separates the two ends. The stem on these earplugs was manufactured to be too short, making it impossible for some servicemembers to insert the earplugs far enough into their ears for maximum protection. As a result, hearing problems are alarmingly common for military members who wore these earplugs.
For a free legal consultation with a 3m combat earplugs lawsuit lawyer serving Waxahachie, call (972) 938-1234
How Was the Problem with 3M Combat Earplugs Discovered?
The military began contracting its combat earplugs from Aearo Technologies in 2003. 3M acquired Aearo in 2008 and took over the contract. A government whistleblower revealed in a lawsuit that not only were these combat earplugs defective, but Aearo knew about the defect, yet continued to sell the earplugs to the military.
What’s more, even after 3M/Aearo found out about this irregularity, the company deliberately skewed test results and misrepresented data to avoid losing its contract with the government. By knowingly continuing to manufacture an inferior product, 3M put thousands of servicemembers in harm’s way to pad their profits.
Following the whistleblower lawsuit, 3M agreed to pay a $9.1 million settlement to help cover the costs of damages to military members. Since this settlement in 2018, our Waxahachie 3M combat earplugs lawsuit attorneys have worked tirelessly to represent affected veterans and get them some closure from the harm they’ve endured.
Waxahachie 3M Combat Earplugs Lawsuit Lawyer Near Me (972) 938-1234
Have Other Combat Earplugs Lawsuits Been Successful?
According to Reuters, more than 230,000 lawsuits have been filed against 3M related to its combat earplugs, already costing the company millions in compensatory damages and likely to result in many millions more being awarded.
As of August 2022, about $265 million had been awarded to plaintiffs so far in bellwether trials. One plaintiff, James Beal, won $77.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages for his injuries in May 2022, according to Bloomberg Law.
These trials have since acted as a barometer for future tort litigation, giving potential litigants a better understanding of what they might expect in terms of compensation. Along with added clarity, these cases have also set a precedent that can be referred to in court, making it even easier for those affected to come forward and recover damages.
How Has 3M Tried to Fight Earplug Lawsuits?
Since first facing court action, 3M has employed several defense strategies, including referring to the 1950 Supreme Court case Feres v. United States. This case held that servicemembers could not bring a claim against the government for an injury that happened while performing an action that was incident to their service.
The court struck this argument down, ruling that affected servicemembers’ hearing-related injuries stemmed from faulty manufacturing and not from any specific action they might have carried out.
After several losses in court, 3M has since initiated bankruptcy proceedings to try to get out of its legal responsibility. However, a judge has ruled the lawsuits may proceed. If you would like to file a lawsuit against 3M for defective earplugs in Waxahachie, our lawyers can help you.
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How Do I Know If I Qualify for a 3M Combat Earplugs Lawsuit?
If you used 3M earplugs in the field and suffered hearing loss during or after your military service, you may qualify to receive compensation via a product liability lawsuit against 3M.
The time to take legal action is now. If you or a family member has dealt with hearing damage because of combat earplugs used in the line of duty, you could be entitled to damages that will help offset some of your medical costs and provide a degree of solace for you.
A Waxahachie 3M combat earplugs lawsuit lawyer from our firm would be happy to assist you with your case.
Why Work With the Waxahachie 3M Earplugs Lawyers at Clay Jenkins & Associates?
At Clay Jenkins & Associates, we’re dedicated to helping injury victims from all walks of life and throughout Texas. A team of professionals is available to help you, including two lawyers, a paralegal, and various support staff.
Since 1948, Clay Jenkins & Associates has fought to win compensation for those who need it most. Along the way, we’ve had the honor of being recognized as one of the leading personal injury firms in the area, and we’ve been able to recover tens of millions in damages for our clients.
Don’t Suffer In Silence Any Longer – Get Your Free Case Evaluation Today
Your hearing damage was not your fault, and you don’t have to accept what’s happened to you without justice or restitution. Our team of Waxahachie 3M combat earplugs lawsuit lawyers is standing by to listen to your story and build a case for you. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.