Defense contractor 3M was the exclusive earplug provider to the U.S. military from 2006-2015. 3M’s dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs were standard issue hearing protection for all military service members. In 2016, Modex-Metric filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging 3M knowingly sold faulty earplugs and falsified certifications to meet U.S. military standards. As early as 2000, 3M’s employees knew these earplugs offered no hearing protection at all. In July 2018, 3M paid $9.1 million to settle these claims without admitting fault.
At least 6,500 veterans are now suing 3M after previously sealed court records became public. The plaintiffs say that 3M’s defective earplugs can cause hearing loss, ringing in the ears and tinnitus. However, up to 100,000 veterans were likely exposed to damaging noise levels while wearing 3M earplugs on active duty. As a result, thousands more injured veterans may file 3M Combat Arms earplug lawsuits going forward. .
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs data shows hearing loss and tinnitus consistently top the service-connected disabilities list. In 2017, 2.7 million vets received VA disability benefits for these two specific impairments. Nearly 1 in 5 veterans who served from 2003-2015 receive VA disability benefits for tinnitus and/or hearing loss today.
If you or a loved one wore 3M earplugs during active duty service from 2003-2015 and then developed hearing loss or tinnitus, you may be entitled to a cash settlement. Due to time restrictions in such cases, we urge you to fill out the claim evaluation form on this page now to confirm your eligibility for compensation.