3M Dual-Ended Earplugs Lawsuits
3M Manufacturing Company recently paid 9.1 million dollars to settle a lawsuit that alleged that they provided defective dual-ended earplugs to the military. If you served in the military between 2003-2015 and suffered hearing loss or tinnitus while using the dual-ended type earplugs in a combat zone, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today to be put in contact with a defective 3M earplug lawyer and learn more about your rights. Call 1-800-298-0111 for a free consultation.
15 Trials With 9 Verdicts for the Injured Veterans
There have been a total of 15 trials so far against 3M pertaining to the defective earplugs. 9 of those have found for the injured veterans and awarded millions of dollars in compensation. In six of the verdicts, the jury found for 3M. It is not known how many Bellwether trials will be required before a settlement might be reached. The verdict results are as follows:
- April 2021 – $7.1 million was awarded to Lewis Keefer, Luke Estes, and Stephen Hacker
- May 2021 – 3m won a defense verdict against Dustin McCombs
- June 2021 – $1.7 million was awarded to Lloyd Baker
- October 2021 – $8.2 million was awarded to Brandon Adkins
- October 2021 – 3m won a defense verdict against Michelle Bloom
- November 2021 $13 million was awarded to Guillermo Camarillorazo
- November 2021 – 3m won a defense verdict against Joseph Palanki
- December 2021 – $22.5 million was awarded to Theodore Finley
- December 2021 – 2 defense verdicts against Carlos Montello and Carter Stelling
- January 2022 – $110,000,000 verdict awarded to Plaintiffs Roger Sloan and William Wayman
- March 2022 – $8,000,000 awarded to veteran Wilkerson
- March 2022 – $50,000,000 awarded to Army veteran Luke Vilsmeyer
- April 2022 – defense verdict against Denise Kelly
- April 2022 – $2,200,000 awarded to Jonathan Vaughn
How to Know if You Used 3M Dual-Ended Earplugs
The 3M dual-ended earplugs in question were used by all branches of the military except the Navy between 2003-2015. They were often provided to soldiers via large bins. The dual-ended earplugs in question are believed to be the only dual-ended earplugs used by the military during that time. They have a green side and a yellow side, each with three pflanges. The yellow side has a tiny hole in it which is intended to allow soldiers to hear orders but block out potentially damaging noise, while the green (or olive green) side is sold and is intended to prevent all noise while in blast zones.
If you used a dual-sided earplug between 2003-2015 that was provided by the military, you may have legal rights for hearing damage suffered during active service.
Do I Have a Case Against 3m?
The key questions to consider in determining whether you may have a case are as follows:
- Were you in the service from 2003-2015?
- Did you use dual-sided (reversible) combat earplugs?
- Were the earplugs provided by the military to you?
- Were you in a branch of service other than the Navy?
- Were you in a combat zone or otherwise exposed to IEDs while using the dual-sided earplugs?
- Did you have hearing loss or tinnitus documented in your records upon discharge or return from deployment? (Usually, the diagnosis is “noise-induced hearing loss.”)
If you do not have your records, these can be obtained.
Documents revealed in a lawsuit against 3M suggest that studies were performed that demonstrated that the earplugs were too short to attain the level of protection they claimed. As a result, the protection provided was significantly lower than the earplugs were supposed to provide. Current lawsuits allege that this information was not adequately conveyed to the intended user so that the earplugs could be utilized by way of proper instruction and/or warning. Documents have further suggested that the opposite side may have actually amplified the noise rather than blocked it. Furthermore, rapid removal of the earplug may actually lead to eardrum damage.
Injuries Caused by Defective Earplugs
The injuries that may have been suffered as a result of the use of defective earplugs include the following:
- Noise-induced hearing loss
- Eardrum Perforation or Damage
The 3M Whistleblower Lawsuit
In 2018, 3M paid 9.1 million dollars to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that they had knowledge of these defects and thus, defrauded the government. In conjunction with that settlement, a news release was made that 3M knew the plugs were too short to get deep enough to achieve the results claimed and did not tell the military. 3M did not admit liability in conjunction with the settlement and thus, is expected to vigorously defend veteran’s claims for hearing damage.
Proving the 3M Earplugs Caused Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
Military personnel typically have their hearing tested on several occasions during service. These occasions include entrance into the military, before deploying, after returning from being deployed, and upon discharge from service. In most cases, the hearing damage can be documented as hearing loss, hearing reduction, or tinnitus in the medical records in the serviceman’s file.
Talk to a Defective Earplug Lawyer
If you suspect that you suffered noise-induced hearing loss as a result of the use of 3M dual-sided earplugs while in the military from 2003 to 2015, call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. today for a free, no-obligation consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. It is not necessary that you still have the earplugs. Call 1-800-298-0111 today.
In order to effectively and efficiently handle the 3M earplug matters, these cases will be referred to and handled in association with another law firm.