3M CAEv2 Military Earplugs – What You Need to Know

Many military families have closely been following recent developments regarding the allegedly defective 3M CAEv2 military earplugs. These earplugs, which were standard issue to active duty servicemembers, have been linked to chronic hearing loss and other disabilities. Veterans and active duty servicemembers who have been diagnosed with hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), or any other hearing-related disability are encouraged to learn about their legal rights and options as soon as possible, as deadlines apply to filing a claim.

Who could be affected by defective military earplugs?

Any military personnel or veterans who were issued 3M earplugs could potentially be affected by hearing-related complications. The defective earplugs in question were issued between 2003 and 2015. Military servicemembers who served in Afghanistan and Iraq during this time were likely issued these Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2). The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency unwittingly issued these devices, not knowing they were ineffective.

Why do the 3M earplugs cause hearing loss?

The earplugs were designed to be dual-ended. This means they could be turned around to provide a different level of protection. When one end was inserted, the earplug would provide traditional protection. When the earplug was flipped around and the opposite end was inserted, it would protect the delicate eardrums from the loud noises of explosions and gunfire.

However, according to the allegations raised by 3M earplug lawsuits, the devices were too short for proper insertion. The devices could gradually become loose inside the ears without the wearer realizing it. As the earplugs loosen, they fail to provide adequate protection from noise-related hearing loss and tinnitus.

3M earplugs were the subject of a whistleblower lawsuit

There have been claims that 3M and its predecessor company knew about the defects in the earplug design at least as early as 2000. At that point, the earplugs allegedly failed safety tests. However, the company continued to sell the earplugs to the U.S. military for more than a decade. A whistleblower lawsuit was recently filed that brought these allegations to light. It was resolved when 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million. The settlement does not include an admittance of wrongdoing.

Additional 3M earplug lawsuits filed by veterans

The fact that a whistleblower lawsuit was filed against the company does not prohibit military servicemembers, veterans, or their families from filing personal injury product liability lawsuits against 3M. In fact, some veterans have already taken legal action. It’s expected that many more will step forward and exercise their legal rights during the coming months. Favorable jury awards or settlements from 3M earplug lawsuits can provide injured veterans with the compensation they need to take care of related medical expenses. Compensation may also be available for the veterans’ non-economic damages, including loss of enjoyment of life and emotional distress.

Veterans: Take action now to preserve your right to file a lawsuit

Chaffin Luhana is currently investigating 3M military earplug cases, and is accepting cases for review. If you believe that you or a loved one may have been harmed by these defective devices, you may be able to file a 3M earplug lawsuit with help from the personal injury legal team at Chaffin Luhana. Contact us today to discuss your case.