Dothan 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Lawyer
Have you suffered hearing loss, tinnitus, loss of balance or other hearing problems after using 3M Combat Arms Earplugs during your time in the military? If so, Gartlan Injury Law wants to help you. We can meet with you immediately to review the facts of your case and explore all of your legal options.
Veterans throughout the country, including those who served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, have accused the Minnesota-based 3M Company of knowingly selling defective dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs to the military between 2003 and 2015. The earplugs were supposed to block out damaging combat sounds such as gunfire and explosions. At the same time, they were supposed to allow soldiers to hear low-level noises such as conversations. However, due to a design flaw, the earplugs could slip loose without a soldier realizing it. As a result, thousands of soldiers, including those stationed at Fort Rucker, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fort Benning, and other military bases in Alabama, may have been exposed to the risk of severe ear damage.
If you suffered hearing loss or other ear damage due to your use of defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs while in the military, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and more. Contact Gartlan Injury Law today to speak with an experienced defective products lawyer and learn more about your rights and options. Our consultations are always free.
If you suffered hearing loss or other ear damage due to your use of defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs while in the military, contact us today for a free consultation.
What Is the Problem with 3M Combat Arms Earplugs?
In July 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had reached a $9.1 million settlement of a False Claims Act lawsuit against 3M Company. In that lawsuit, DOJ alleged that 3M and its predecessor, Aearo Technologies, Inc., sold Combat Arms Earplugs to the Defense Logistics Agency for several years while knowing the earplugs could easily slip loose without the user knowing it. Specifically, DOJ alleged that the earplugs were “too short for proper insertion into users’ ears.” Due to this defect, thousands of soldiers were exposed to the exact high-level noises that the earplugs were supposed to protect them from.
The Military Times reports that numerous veterans have filed individual lawsuits against 3M. The lawsuits allege that the company discovered the defect while testing the earplugs. Still, the lawsuits claim, “the company falsified certification stating that the testing complied with military standards.” In addition to seeking compensatory damages, the lawsuits are seeking punitive damages based on 3M’s “gross negligence,” according to The Military Times.
News reports indicate that thousands of veterans and active-duty members of all U.S. military branches (including the Reserves and National Guard) could be affected by defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs. The Military Times notes that 3M supplied 15,000 earplug packages to the U.S. military per year, with 50 pairs of earplugs per package, until the company stopped making the product in 2015. However, even though the company ceased production of the earplugs, it never recalled them. As a result, soldiers may still be using them, and vendors may still continue to sell the product.
What Injuries Do Defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Cause?
Soldiers who used 3M Combat Arms Earplugs have reported serious hearing problems, including:
- Hearing loss – Exposure to loud noises such as gunfire or explosions can damage the hairs or nerve cells in the inner ear which send sound signals to the brain, or it can use the eardrum to rupture. A person with hearing loss can have difficulty hearing everyday conversation. Typically, the hearing loss is permanent. However, a person with hearing loss may benefit from cochlear implants or hearing aids.
- Tinnitus – This is a symptom of ear injury. It involves the hearing of “phantom” noises in one or both ears such as ringing, buzzing, clicking or humming. The noise can range from a low to high pitch that affects a person’s ability to concentrate or to hear other sounds. Many soldiers who suffer from tinnitus develop mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression.
- Loss of balance – When a person suffers inner-ear problems, it can cause them to suffer from unsteadiness or loss of balance. Some soldiers describe feeling like they have a “heavy head” or a “floating” sensation.
If you have experienced these problems or other hearing-related issues after using 3M Combat Arms Earplugs while you were in the military, you should see a doctor without delay. Getting a timely diagnosis and treatment is crucial. You should also contact Gartlan Injury Law to learn about your legal options.
What Compensation Can You Recover for 3M Combat Arms Earplug Injuries?
At Gartlan Injury Law, we understand how hearing loss, tinnitus, loss of balance and other hearing-related problems can lead to unexpected medical bills and affect several other aspects of a person’s life. Due to your hearing problems, you may be unable to work or enjoy the same quality of life that you did before. Of course, if your standard-issue earplugs had worked properly, you could have avoided all of these issues.
If you have suffered harm due to defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Gartlan Injury Law can thoroughly review your case, including your military and medical records. We will help you to seek compensation that may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Diminishment of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages.
Attorney Aaron Gartlan is an experienced product liability attorney and aggressive trial lawyer. He has a record of taking on corporations that cause needless harm to honest, hard-working individuals. He is committed to seeking full and fair compensation for veterans and active-duty military members who have suffered harm due these defective earplugs, including soldiers who were stationed at Fort Rucker or other military bases in Alabama.
Get Help from an Alabama 3M Combat Arms Earplugs Attorney Today
If you suffered hearing loss, tinnitus, loss of balance or other hearing-related problems after using 3M Combat Arms Earplugs during your time in the military, get help today from Gartlan Injury Law. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis. So, you will pay nothing for our legal services unless we recover compensation for you. To learn more, call or reach us online now for a free consultation.