A federal jury recently awarded two service members for hearing damage they sustained by using 3M combat earplugs.
Jurors sided with two veterans who alleged that 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs’ design was defective. The two men are among nearly 300,000 service members who have sued 3M claiming they suffered hearing damage because of the earplugs.
3M manufactured and sold Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs to the United States Armed Forces for use by military service members from 2003-2015. The earplugs were supposed to protect service members from noise exposure from tanks, gunfire, aircraft, explosions, heavy equipment and more during combat and training.
3M reached a settlement with The Department of Justice in July of 2018, agreeing to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations it knowingly sold defective earplugs to the U.S. Military.
Service members who were issued Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs should have been protected from Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), but they weren’t. They were exposed to potentially life-altering noise exposure with no regard for their safety. Government contractors who put profit above the needs of our service members’ safety should be held accountable.