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3M Reaches $6 Billion Settlement Over Defective Earplugs

Close - up of a man's ear with a yellow earplug in his hand

Last month, 3M agreed to pay $6.01 billion to settle lawsuits brought by U.S. military veterans and service members who claimed that they suffered hearing loss and other injuries after using the company’s defective earplugs.

The settlement, which brings closure to what has become the largest mass tort litigation in U.S. history, focused on 3M’s dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) and comes more than five years after the company paid $9.1 million to U.S. Department of Justice allegations that it violated the False Claim Act by knowingly selling defective combat earplugs to the U.S. military.

According to both the DOJ and claims brought by injured veterans and service members, CAEv2 earplugs, which were manufactured by a company acquired by 3M in 2008, were too short to provide adequate hearing protection and were prone to becoming loose without users’ knowledge. The result was that many service members who used the earplugs suffered permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, and other related injuries.

Do You Have a 3M Earplug Lawsuit?

Because 3M’s CAEv2 earplugs were standard issue for service members from all branches of the U.S. armed forces for over a decade, the recent settlement is expected to cover as many as 240,000 victims.

You may have a potential claim for compensation if:

  • You used 3M’s CAEv2 earplugs during military training exercises or active-duty combat, including overseas conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, between 2003 and 2015; and
  • You suffered noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus, or other hearing-related injuries or disabilities as a result.

Recoverable Damages in 3M Earplug Lawsuits

Noise-induced hearing loss and other hearing-related injuries have lifelong repercussions for victims and their loved ones. As such, pursuing a claim can help victims obtain the compensation they need to cover their damages, which may include:

  • Past and future medical treatment
  • Medical devices, including hearing aids
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Lost income and future earnings
  • Other economic and non-economic losses

Workers’ Compensation Cases Involving Hearing Loss

For non military personnel who suffered hearing loss or tinnitus due to exposure at work, you may be entitled to New Jersey Worker’s Compensation benefits.

As a firm that’s fought for workers across New Jersey since 1939, we have unfortunately seen these types of injuries frequently among our clients. That’s because occupational noise exposure is a considerable risk across many professions, and because many employers fail to adequately comply with safety regulations regarding loud noises and hearing protection for their employees.

If you believe that you suffered hearing loss or other related injuries because of your job, you may be entitled to benefits paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Our team has extensive experience handling workers’ compensation cases involving hearing loss and can help evaluate whether you have grounds to pursue a claim.

Fighting for Veterans & Workers Who’ve Experienced Hearing-Related Injuries

Our attorneys at Levinson Axelrod, P.A. are available to help veterans and service members explore their legal options after suffering injuries related to 3M’s defective earplugs. We are also available to speak with others who have suffered noise-induced hearing loss and related injuries in the course of their employment.

If you have questions about a potential 3M claim or a workers’ compensation claim involving hearing loss, please call (732) 440-3089 or contact us online. We serve clients statewide and offer FREE consultation.

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