Serving Justice

Veterans and Active Duty Military May Have a Claim Against 3M for Hearing Loss

November 18, 2019Products Liability

Recently, 3M agreed to settle a claim and pay the federal government $9.1 million for the damages caused by its defective Dual-Ended Combat Earplugs.  The settlement was the result of a False Claims Act or “Whistleblower” claim where someone came forward and “blew the whistle” on what 3M has allegedly known for years – that members of our military who used 3M’s combat ear plugs are suffering from hearing loss, tinnitus, and other ailments as a result of defects in these products.

What is the defect?

The original inventor of the Dual-Ended Combat Earplugs, formerly known as Aearo Technologies, designed an earplug that through its olive end, would block sounds like any traditional earplugs, while through the yellow end known as the “open position,” it would block out or greatly reduced loud impulse sounds, as those experienced by members of the military on the battlefield. At the same time, they would allow the person to hear quieter noises like voices or commands. As early as 2000, Aearo Technologies was allegedly informed by industry experts and engineers of dangerous defects in these earplugs. Specifically, the earplugs had dangerous defects in their length, fit, and width,  which caused them to loosen in the person’s ear without the person knowing. This allowed damaging sounds to infiltrate the ear canal from around the earplug rendering the earplug’s protection inadequate. Despite this, the manufacturer of the earplugs won a government bid, and the earplugs were issued to thousands of servicemen during 2003-2015.

How does 3M fit into the picture?

3M acquired Aearo Technologies in 2008.  3M allegedly became aware of the defect in the earplugs yet continued to issue the earplugs to the military for several more years. As a result, many veterans, servicemen and women are now suffering significant hearing loss and/or tinnitus. Tinnitus is ringing, hissing or buzzing sounds in the ear that can be continuous or intermittent. In most instances, there is not a cure for tinnitus.

Who may qualify for recovery against 3M for its defective Dual-Ended Combat Earplugs?

  1. Persons who were active duty anytime between 2003-2015;
  2. Persons who were given 3M Dual-Ended Combat Earplugs and
  3. Persons who have experienced hearing loss, tinnitus, or other hearing ailments related to the use of the earplugs.

If you or someone you know meets the above-noted criteria call the product liability lawyers at Ramsey Law Group at 713-489-7577, a law firm with over 25 years of combined experience in products liability lawsuits.

What are the claims against 3M?

To date, several members of the military have filed suits against 3M for the following claims: Negligence, Strict Liability, Products Liability for Design Defect, Products Liability – Manufacturer Defect, Products Liability – Marketing Defect,  Products Liability – Failure to Warn, Gross Negligence, and more.

Can I hire Ramsey Law Group if I live outside of Texas?

Yes, Ramsey Law Group represents clients throughout the United States.

How much will it cost to hire Ramsey Law Group?

You do not have to pay unless we win. Ramsey Law Group operates on a contingency fee, which means we are paid only if we win your case.  If we do not succeed, clients are not responsible for our attorney’s fees or our expenses.

Why should I hire Ramsey Law Group?

The lawyers at Ramsey Law Group have the knowledge, skill, and experience to pursue these cases.  Our firm has recovered $250,000,000 in settlements and verdicts to date.  Our firm has three Top Ten Texas verdicts in 2009 ($2,370,000), 2010 ($19,890,991), and 2017 ($43,600,403).  Our 2017 verdict was listed as the 44th largest verdict in the United States that year.

Our lawyers have successfully pursued product liability, negligence, and wrongful death claims against many Fortune 500 companies such as Ford, GM, Honda, Mitsubishi, Chrysler, Harley Davidson, Bell Helicopter, Anheuser Bush, Greyhound, BNSF Railroad, U-Haul, British Petroleum, TXU Energy, Graco, Dunbar Armored, and most tire manufacturers including Firestone, Continental, Nexen, Cooper, Michelin, Uniroyal, Goodyear, Dunlop, and Yokohama.  We have pursued cases on behalf of our clients in county, state, and federal courts throughout Texas and in many other states.

Although past results are not indicative of future outcomes, our results on our cases speak for themselves.

How can I hire Ramsey Law Group to represent me against 3M?

If you or someone you know meets the criteria above, contact the defective product liability lawyers at Ramsey Law Group for a free consultation.