3M Earplug Hearing Loss

“3M” Combat Arms Earplugs are dual-sided earbuds that were created by the company 3M for U.S. armed forces. The purpose of the earplugs was to provide better hearing protection in outdoor exposures and greater situational awareness to armed force members than regular foam earplugs. Hearing loss is one of the most significant problems military members face today, and it can lead to other severe effects like anxiety, depression, and more than largely affect the quality of life for millions of veterans. The lawsuits accuse 3M of designing a defective product and failing to warn about its potential risks. As a result of the settlement, 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million to the U.S. government to resolve the allegations.

The settlement did not include an admission of wrongdoing by 3M. The defective earplugs have been linked to cases of hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) among military personnel who used them during their service. Several lawsuits have been filed against 3M on behalf of military veterans who allege that the company’s earplugs caused them to suffer permanent hearing damage. In July 2021, a federal judge in Florida awarded $7.1 million in damages to three military veterans who claimed that their hearing was damaged as a result of using 3M’s defective earplugs. The case was the first to go to trial among the thousands of lawsuits filed against 3M over the earplugs, and may set a precedent for future cases