MILITARY VETERAN WITH HEARING LOSS?
Did you suffer hearing loss after using 3M earplugs while in the military between 2003 and 2015? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the MedLogic Team today at (202) 773-4114.
After your claim is filed, there is no need to travel or appear in court or anywhere else.
Why You Should Hire an Attorney
If you’ve suffered hearing loss as a result of using 3M Combat Arms earplugs, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Taking on a massive corporation like 3M may seem like an impossible task, but an experienced attorney can guide you through every step of the process and get you the help you need. Some reasons for hiring an attorney for your personal injury claim include:
- Having an expert on your side. You’re able to file a personal injury claim on your own, but an attorney knows what details to include, what questions to ask, and what information might be missing. They’ll level the playing field and show companies like 3M that they need to take your claim seriously.
- Avoiding novice mistakes. You don’t know what you don’t know. A big corporation will likely have several insurance adjusters on staff to respond to claims of personal injury, and they will look long and hard for any reason why their client is not liable. Hiring a lawyer like one from MedLogic 3M Lawsuits will help you avoid being denied compensation because of a technicality.
- Getting full and just compensation. An attorney with experience in personal injury claims can help you fully review how an injury has impacted your life, and with their understanding of what damages you incurred and how losses are recovered, they can help you get more in compensation than you would get on your own.
- An attorney will go the distance. One of the ways large companies get away with injuring others without compensation is by waiting them out. The litigation process for personal injury claims, especially those that go to trial, can be a lengthy and time-consuming ordeal. An attorney with experience in these types of trials can tell you when you should be patient, even when you don’t want to.
The 3M Earplugs Lawsuit
- The chemical and materials conglomerate 3M purchased a company called Aearo in 2008 that manufactured a dual-mode earplug called Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2). This particular model earplug was sold in huge numbers to the U.S. military and was in regular use until 2015.
- Since then, thousands of service members have come forward stating they suffered hearing damage while using these earplugs. 3M did not instruct service members on proper use of the earplugs, and plaintiffs believe that 3M knew the earplugs would be ineffective if not used correctly.
- The earplugs were dual-mode, with one mode blocking all noise and one mode allowing speech and orders to be heard while blocking harmful levels of noise. Users of the earplugs claim they did not work as intended and that they suffered hearing loss as a result.
- In 2018, 3M agreed to pay a $9.1 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit brought by a whistleblower stating that 3M knew the earplugs were ineffective when they sold them to the military. This settlement opened the floodgates for personal injury claims against 3M.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is when structures inside the ear are damaged due to intense sound. This hearing deficit can take time to appear and may manifest as hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Sounds and conversation can become muffled and may require the use of a hearing aid or other device to correct.
Symptoms of NIHL include:
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Trouble understanding conversation at normal volumes
- Pain in the ears when exposed to loud noise
- Problems hearing speech in crowded spaces
NIHL has two main causes:
- Impulse noise: Impulse noise is a one-time exposure to very loud sound, like an explosion or gunfire. Repeated exposure to impulse noise can cause severe hearing damage.
- Continuous noise: Continuous noise refers to loud sound consistently made over a long period, such as when a jet engine is running or when music is played with the volume on high over a long period of time.
The 3M Combat Arms earplugs were designed to stop hearing loss from either cause, but according to many who used them, they were not effective.
Side effects of NIHL can include the following:
- Dizziness: The structures of the inner ear are also responsible for helping us maintain balance. If they’re damaged by loud noise, your sense of balance can be affected.
- Dementia: A hearing study from Johns Hopkins found that even mild hearing loss can increase the risk of dementia by a factor of two.
- Depression/Anxiety: Losing your hearing can severely affect your quality of life and lead to feelings of depression or anxiety.
- Social Isolation: Not being able to understand what people are saying may lead you to simply stay away, cutting yourself off from contact with family and friends.
Updates to the 3M Lawsuit
On April 30, 2021, a jury awarded the three plaintiffs in a 3M class-action lawsuit $7.1 million in damages, including $2.1 million in punitive damages, as compensation for their hearing loss injuries. The plaintiffs were Army veterans.
This case went to trial, and 3M was unable to mount a defense for their actions. The award of punitive damages shows that a jury believes 3M acted with intentional disregard for the harm caused by their negligence.
This outcome will likely lead to many additional personal injury claims against 3M and increase the value of the class action lawsuit against them.
Call (202) 773-4114 Today for a Free Consultation
If you’ve suffered hearing loss after using 3M earplugs, don’t wait to claim your place in the class-action suit. A qualified attorney is standing by right now to discuss your case and answer any questions. Call us at (202) 773-4114 for a no-obligation consultation and start getting justice for your injury.