Facts, Questions & Answers on the 3M Earplug Lawsuit – Combat Vets Hearing Loss

Many armed service members who used the faulty 3M combat earplugs and experiencing hearing loss or other hearing problems are asking about the lawsuit that is currently underway.  We hope to provide some facts, figures and answers to those who have suffered tinnitus or other hearing loss problems.

Are you experiencing hearing impairment after serving in the US military?

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Common questions we get on the 3M military earplugs:

3M model CAEv2 earplugs

What is the problem with the 3M combat earplugs?

The 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2), which were supposed to protect service members from loud noises during combat, were eventually found to be ineffective. 3M sold its combat earplugs to the military despite knowing that design defects would render them ineffective. This potentially caused hearing loss in millions of military veterans.

What years were these 3M earplugs issued?

3M’s defective CAEv2 earplugs were generally issued to service members during deployment between 2003 and 2015. However they were also issued to non-combat forces during live-fire training sessions.

Is there a 3M earplug lawsuit update 2020?

BREAKING: April 30, 2021 — Today in a Florida Court has slapped 3M with a whopping $7.1 million verdict, much of it in punitive damages in the first 3M earplug bellwether trial. That Florida jury took the side of three former military veterans who claimed the were harmed from the combat arms earplugs known as the CAEv2s that failed to work causing hearing loss or a condition known as tinnitus.

The jury awarded $2.1 million punitive damages to all three veterans. Stephen Hacker suffered tinnitus in 2006, Luke Estes had suffered from ringing in the ears beginning in 2014, and Lewis Keefer slowly started loosing his hearing.

  • Hacker will receive an additional amount of $160,000 for pain and suffering.
  • Estes gets $350,000 for hearing loss, medical costs, and pain and suffering.
  • Keffer will receive $320,000 for medical costs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Yes, news stories across all media stations reported on a court ruling as follows:  A federal court ruling yesterday in Florida torpedoed a legal move of 3M’s plan of using a “government contractor defense” status to clear itself from tort liability from lawsuits on its allegedly defective combat earplugs.  3M based in Maplewood Minnesota stated that it developed these defective earplugs by closely working with the Army.

However, U.S. District Court Judge M. Casey Rodgers ruled that 3M lacked evidence “to establish the elements of the government contractors defense” by 3M.

The Judge stated; “The [earplug’s] design already existed — it came into existence without any input from the Army,” Rodgers wrote in the ruling. “The Army never issued a request for a design proposal for the new earplug; there was no competitive bidding process during which the Army established design details for a new earplug from interested contractors.”

3M’s lawyers issued this statement; “We remain confident the evidence will show that the CAEv2 product, which was developed in response to the U.S. military’s request and based on its own specifications and testing, was not defective and did not cause injuries.”

What is the 3m earplug lawsuit payout to veterans? Or how much compensation do you get?

While the numbers are hard to define, some of these individual earplug cases could payout anywhere from $40,000 to more than $120,000 per earplug victim in compensation.  We can look at the Justice Department that agreed to a massive settlement amount of $9.1 million for a victim’s fund. Keep in mind that this payout number is only used an example and may not reflect what will happen on each individual case. We have updated the 3M Earplug Lawsuit Individual Payout.

Is there a 3m earplug lawsuit deadline?

While most firms are still accepting the earplug claims, possible statutes of limitations due apply. We expect these cases to begin settling in various courts in the next few months of this publication date (August 11, 2020)

Is there a 3m earplug lawsuit claim form?

Yes, the Schmidt National Law Firm is accepting 3M Earplug Claims for any veterans that are experiencing hearing loss, tinnitus or ringing in the ears Use this 100% Secure 3M Earplug Claim Form to start the claims process.  We expect a large cash settlement payout from these 3M earplug claims.

Are 3M combat earplugs defective?

Let’s first look at the history of these earplugs before analyzing if they are defective:

  1. During the height of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of armed forces members were deployed with dual-ended earplugs meant to protect their hearing in combat.
  2. The United States military purchased millions of units of 3M’s combat earplugs and distributed them to service members between 2003 and 2015.
  3. The same year the military stopped distributing 3M’s earplugs, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released a study revealing more than 1 million veterans were receiving disability compensation for hearing loss and 1.6 million more were receiving compensation for the hearing condition tinnitus.  
  4. The earplugs, called dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2), were originally sold by Aearo Technologies LLC, which designs and manufactures noise, shock, and vibration products. In 2007, three years into the military’s contract with Aearo, 3M purchased the company for $1.2 billion.

In 2018, three years after the VA report was released, it was revealed 3M knowingly sold defective earplugs to the military. 3M agreed to pay $9.1 to the federal government to settle allegations it had knowingly sold defective earplugs to the U.S. military.

The earplugs sold by the Minnesota-based company were apparently too short to effectively protect soldiers’ hearing during combat. According to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), 3M knew the earplugs were defective before it sold the product to the military. Now, lawsuits are being filed by veterans whose hearing was compromised during combat while wearing 3M’s defective earplugs.

Veterans and military service members who suffered injuries after using 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs have rights, and we can still accept your case today. Use the secure form above to begin, takes 2 minutes. Or call us today directly at 1-800-631-5656 to being the legal process.

Schmidt National Law Group accepts 3M earplug claimants throughout the United States including:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

We can also accept claimants for the 3m earplug lawsuits in the following major metropolitan cities:

New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose City, Detroit, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Columbus, Austin, Memphis, Fort Worth, Baltimore, Charlotte, Boston, Seattle, Washington, Milwaukee, Denver, Louisville, Las Vegas, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Portland, Tucson, Albuquerque, Atlanta, Long Beach, Fresno, Sacramento, Mesa, Kansas City, Cleveland, Virginia Beach, Omaha, Miami, Oakland, Tulsa, Honolulu, Minneapolis, Colorado Springs, Arlington and Wichita.

3m Earplug lawsuit page updated on April 30, 2021 for bellwether verdict and awards.