3M Defective Military Earplug Injury

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Defense Contractor Knowingly Put Millions of Soldiers at Risk

The Combat Arms Dual-Ended Earplugs version 2 (CAEv2)were standard issued equipment for military personnel in all branches from 2003 to 2015. In those 12 years, the earplugs were distributed to thousands in the U.S. military, putting service men and women at risk for permanent hearing loss or impairment.

A whistleblower alleged that 3M knew about design problems as early as 2000, when the earplugs failed to pass safety tests. However, they continued to market and manufacture the dual-ended earplugs. 3M failed to disclose this defect to the military when their contract was finalized.

In July 2018, the Minnesota-based 3M Company agreed to pay a $9 million penalty to the federal government to resolve these allegations, though the company has admitted no wrongdoing.

3M Military Earplug Lawsuit History

The payout to the government didn’t protect the company from lawsuits from veterans harmed by their defective earplugs. The number of claims grew to the point that on April 3, 2019, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) centralized hundreds of 3M Combat Arms Earplug lawsuits under U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers of the Northern District of Florida.

In July 2022, 3M subsidiary Aearo, and maker of the defective military earplugs, filed for bankruptcy to help drive a global settlement for the mounting number of 3M military earplug lawsuits. 3M pledged $1 billion to fund Aearo’s liabilities stemming from the lawsuits, which name both 3M and Aearo. Plaintiffs said the move was an attempt by 3M to skirt the massive litigation.

In June 2023, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jeffrey Graham in Indianapolis dismissed Aearo’s bankruptcy, ruling that the 3M subsidiary enjoys a “greater degree of financial security than warrants bankruptcy protection.”

Today, the 3M military earplug MDL has grown to become one of the largest in history, with nearly 330,000 3M military earplug lawsuits filed and at least 257,000 pending in Florida federal court.

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Cory Watson Attorneys is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm. Our lawyers have decades of experience holding major corporations such as 3M accountable for harming hard-working Americans.


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Cory Watson Stands with Our Nation’s Veterans

If you or a loved one served in the military at any time from 2003 to 2015 and suffered a hearing loss injury after using 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a 3M military earplug lawsuit.