3M Earplug Lawsuit 2023: Do You Qualify For it?

Friday, February 3, 2023

3M Earplug Lawsuit 2023: Do You Qualify For it?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Did you know that thousands of people in the military service – veterans and current inductees – can receive financial compensation connected to a 3M earplug lawsuit? This lawsuit addresses hearing conditions, such as hearing loss and tinnitus, both of which resulted from wearing defective earplugs.

3m earplug lawsuit

3M Earplugs Lawsuit Updates (2023)

On January 7, 2023, 3M reported spending $450 million in attorney’s fees for their lawsuit defense. So, this type of claim has far-reaching consequences for 3M.

While reports on January 6, 2023, stated that the lawsuit was in limbo, the new claims brought forward kept emerging – 12 on January 6th and 30 filed on January 5th. Needless to say, 3M has lost many of the cards it can play to defend itself in 2023.

On December 23, 2022, a judge, Casey Rodgers, issued a sanctions order that charged 3M with “brazen abuse of the [legal] process.” The sanction forbids the company from trying to avoid liability for its ear plug claim by shifting the blame to a company it purchased, Aearo Technologies. Aearo Technologies filed bankruptcy after the claims were made.

In other words, 3M cannot pursue its plan to force the ear plug cases into bankruptcy. The judge, in a 22-page opinion, explained how 3M handled the ear plug cases – claiming itself solely responsible for four years and not asserting Aearo as the responsible party in the case.

However, after 3M saw the results of bellwether trials, it changed its defense strategy. This means if you have a hearing loss claim related to Combat Arms ear plugs, you can go after 3M. However, 3M can also file an appeal to the ruling, and multidistrict litigation (MDL) cases will remain pending until after the court renders a verdict for the appeal.

You only need to go back in the archives to see how this lawsuit is continuing to become more complex. If you can remain patient, you can file a claim and receive a settlement that will aid you in your claim for damages concerning the wear of the 3M’s flawed ear plugs.

Combat Arms Earplugs

3M, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, is the maker and seller of the defective ear plugs, Combat Arms. The yellow and dark green hearing protectors were first made by Aearo Technologies, a company 3M bought in 2008. This makes 3M responsible for the manufacture of the ear plugs before and after the purchase date.

Data showed that thousands of service people suffered total or partial hearing loss and tinnitus after wearing the faulty Combat Arms earplugs.

Moreover, the ear plugs produced by 3M were considered standard-issue equipment and were intended to prevent hearing loss. 3M’s contract with the U.S. Department of Defense was made exclusively to protect troops from deafness, but it failed to meet this promise.

If you served in the U.S. military from 2003 to 2015 and suffered permanent hearing damage after wearing the 3M earplugs, you may have a possible product liability claim with 3M.

Why the Earplugs Were Defective

U.S. service personnel are frequently exposed to loud sounds from artillery, explosives, aircraft, and guns. Without ear protection and repeat exposure, a soldier may easily experience auditory damage to the internal eardrum.

The nonlinear and dual-ended earplugs made by 3M were supposed to safeguard users by filtering the loudest noises. Aearo Technologies designed the earplugs before ultimately selling their company to 3M.

Several design elements were defective. One major problem was that the ear plugs were decidedly too small for the carrying case issued by the Army. They also made it difficult for a soldier to fit their helmet and wear it comfortably.

To overcome these problems, the company modified the design by shortening the ear plugs so they would fit. However, this prevented the device from being placed deep inside the ear. Therefore, the major design flaw was associated with the ear plug’s stem. The stem needed to be lengthened for soldiers whose ear canal was average or large in size.

What makes things worse is that 3M knew about the defect but did not disclose the information to the military. However, the ear plugs only cost 85 cents to manufacture, and the company sold the hearing protection for $7.65 – all of which made it difficult, it seems, for 3M to reveal the defect.

During this time, most of the soldiers did not receive adequate hearing protection, so they can now sue 3M and request they be paid for their damaged hearing. There is no guarantee of success for this product liability claim. However, it will also not cost you a dime to file a claim for compensation.

Commonly Asked Questions About the 3M Lawsuit

If you are a military veteran or currently work in the military and wore defective earplugs, you may have several questions about 3M claims. Below are some of the commonly asked questions.

How Much Money Will I get?

Based on claims already filed and settled, experts estimate claims to be worth between, on average, $25,000 to $300,00 per claimant. If 3M continues to defend itself, individual settlement amounts may end up soaring. What you receive will be based on the amount of your hearing loss or whether you have a lesser condition, such as tinnitus.

What are the Requirements for Filing a Claim?

To file a claim, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You must have served in the military between 2003 and 2015.
  2. You wore military-issued ear plugs during your service time.
  3. You were exposed to loud noises when you served.
  4. You have been diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus.

You might also look into filing other claims for which you are eligible. For example, Zantac claims are currently being filed by patients who have been diagnosed with cancer after taking medicine for GERD.

How Much Do I Owe If I File a Lawsuit?

You don’t owe anything unless the case is settled. Therefore, the attorney works on a contingency basis, taking out a certain percentage when the case is settled. You don’t owe the attorney unless they win your case.

Contact Malman Law About the 3M Lawsuit Right Away

There could be a global settlement for the 3M lawsuit in 2023, so now is the time to contact the Malman Law firm if you have not done so previously. Fill out our online form or call (888) 711-7955 for all the details today.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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