Soldiers serving in the military are exposed to the tremendously loud noises in the combat as well as training. In order to protect their hearing from such noises from vehicles, weapons, aircraft in training periods, and combat operations, they require earplugs. This is the reason why they were provided with 3M earplugs. However, due to the use of defective earplugs, thousands of servicemen sustained injuries that resulted in lawsuits.
Problems With 3M Earplugs
Initially, the dual-ended combat earplugs (CAEV2) were produced by Aero technologies. Later in 2008, 3M Corporation acquired the company and started manufacturing earplugs. The military people used the earplugs to hear to block out the noises. Moreover, the earplugs provide them the ease to hear the orders while protecting eardrums from explosions as well as gunfire.
However, due to the flaw in the design, the earplugs didn’t solve the purpose. As per the documents of court, the stem connecting two ends of earplugs is quite short and the earplugs don’t fit in the ear canal correctly. As a result, the loud noises slipped through causing ear damage.
Injuries Caused Due to 3M Earplugs
The nature of the job puts the service persons in situations having louder noises cause by jet engines, weapons, fire alarms, etc. This is the reason what makes effective earplugs a necessity. However, because of the defect in the earplug, several military personnel experienced injuries. The list of the common injuries caused to the military members due to design flaw in earplugs includes
Hearing LossHearing impairment is one of the common injuries that is suffered by soldiers. Exposure to a constant low-level noise or loud noise tends to damage the hair as well as delicate tissues providing protection to the ear. The damage results in metabolic changes or make tissues stretch far off its limit. Both outcomes can lead to cell death and cause hearing loss.
TinnitusPeople with ear injuries often hear humming, clicking, ringing, or buzzing sounds. These sounds can occur periodically or can be continuous. In serious cases, it might be difficult for an individual to distinguish between sounds in the speech. This can also limit the ability of communication of the person. As a result, several military personnel having hearing issues suffer from depression.
Loss of BalanceIn maintaining balance, the inner ear plays a crucial role. The damage to such structures could contribute to balancing the issue that limits the kinds of activities and jobs people can do after serving in the military.
Who is Eligible for Damages Caused Due to 3M Defective Earplugs?
Military personnel who incurred hearing impairment or any related problem can file lawsuits and seek compensation. However, to recover the compensation, it is essential to check the eligibility. You might be eligible for compensation, in case you
- Served in the military between 2003 to 2015
- Were provided earplugs in the service duration
- Suffering from tinnitus or permanent hearing loss
Under the law, in case you suffered hearing loss due to the use of 3M earplugs, you may be entitled to the 3M lawsuit, regarding the problematic earplugs, through an experienced attorney. You might be able to recover medical expenses, physical pain, lost wages, mental anguish, and lost earning capacity also.