3M agreed to settle with the U.S. Government for selling defective earplugs

How could a business put profits over the wellbeing of those who risk it all to protect our freedoms? Sadly, according to news reports, Aearo Technologies, which was acquired by 3M in 2008, was doing just that. The dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs (CAEv2) were standard issue for U.S. military personnel enlisted from 2003-2015. That is over a decade of providing defective earplugs to the hard-working men and women of our country.

When did they know?

The military issued these earplugs without knowledge of the defects. However, it was reported that Aearo was aware of the defective design as early as 2000 – three years before the earplugs were first used by service members.  Aearo and 3M hid these findings and became the exclusive provider of selective attenuation earplugs for the military. They now have agreed to pay the U.S. Government millions of dollars to settle a whistleblower False Claims Act lawsuit. This lawsuit only addressed the amount that they agreed to pay to the government for their wrongdoing and it does do not address future legal claims from individuals or groups.

These earplugs placed thousands of our service members at risk of hearing loss. Unfortunately, the Veterans Benefits Administration reports approximately 2.6 million veterans are receiving disability compensation for hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears), making this one of the most dominant service-related disabilities.

What can you do?

If you have suffered hearing loss or tinnitus after using the dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs (CAEv2) while you were enlisted from 2003-2015, please contact Baron & Budd for a free consultation. Our firm has significant experience in these type of cases, and we have the resources and expertise necessary to give our clients their best chance for success. Please call us at 866-723-1890 or contact us online for more information.

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