Defective Military Ear Plugs News
A U.S. Army veteran has filed a lawsuit in Kansas City alleging that his hearing was damaged because of defective earplugs manufactured by the 3M Company.
A number of similar lawsuits have been filed around the country, and last summer the U.S. Department of Justice and 3M reached a $9.1 million settlement over the same earplugs, which were sold to the U.S. military for more than a decade.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - For eight years, Alex Ontkos served in the U.S. Army as an Army Ranger, but after his first deployment something went wrong.
"I started hearing a large ringing in my ear,” Ontkos said. He says that came from using 3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEV2) during his service. “We received them all the time," Ontkos said. "We went to the range and they gave us disposable ones. They issued them to us during basic training. They were unreliable and fell out all the time.”
He's not alone. Thousands--even millions--of veterans and current active duty military are estimated to be impacted by the earplugs.
Months after popular manufacturer 3M reached a more than $9 million settlement to resolve allegations it supplied the U.S. military with defective earplugs, a former Army sergeant has filed his own lawsuit, claiming the gear left him with hearing damage and a constant ringing in his ears. His attorney says his complaint will likely be followed by hundreds more like it.
Scott Rowe, a combat veteran who deployed to Iraq from 2003 to 2004 as part of the 411th Military Police Company, filed the suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas, Waco Division. He's seeking unspecified damages for permanent ear damage he alleges was sustained while using the dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs 3M provided to the military under contract.
Retired Army General Jay Gothard said a legal settlement, between the maker of an earplug used by the military and the United States Department of Justice, made him feel violated. In the lawsuit, the U.S. government claimed that Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs, made by Aearo Technologies but later acquired by 3M and sold to the Army, were "dangerously defective" and contributed to significant hearing loss in service members.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, more than half (52 percent) of combat soldiers return home with moderate or severe hearing loss. It costs taxpayers an estimated $1 billion to treat the problem.
A Texas veteran is suing 3M Company over allegedly defective earplugs that were issued to U.S. soldiers for a decade.
Sgt. Scott D. Rowe, who was previously stationed at Fort Hood, filed suit in a Waco federal court, accusing 3M of knowingly designing, making and selling faulty earplugs that caused Rowe to develop tinnitus, hearing loss and poor balance, according to his attorneys.
3M Company Agrees to Pay $9.1 Million to Resolve Allegations That it Supplied the United States With Defective Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs
The Department of Justice announced today that 3M Company (3M), headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, has agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold the dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) to the United States military without disclosing defects that hampered the effectiveness of the hearing protection device.
In a settlement worth a paltry $9.1 million, 3M agreed to pay the government after being caught covering up its defective earplugs called dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2).
The company sold its earplugs to the US military without disclosing problems with its effectiveness. Basically, the earplugs would come loose in the ear canal and not perform as well. Those curious about the lawsuit should look up United States ex rel. Moldex-Metric v. 3M Company, case number 3:16-cv-1533-MBS (DSC). (Note: I grabbed a photo of the earplug type from the 3M website, but the photo above may not be exactly the same earplug variant.)
A contractor has agreed to pay $9.1 million to the U.S. government for selling defective earplugs issued to thousands of servicemembers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 to 2015.
Known as “selective attenuation earplugs,” 3M’s Combat Arms earplugs would “loosen in the wearers ear, imperceptibly to the wearer and even trained audiologists visually observing a wearer, thereby permitting damaging sounds to enter the ear canal by traveling around outside of the earplug,” according to the whistleblower lawsuit complaint, which was settled Thursday.
A contracting company agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold the U.S. military defective earplugs.
The Minnesota-based 3M Company allegedly sold its dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, to the Defense Logistics Agency without disclosing defects that decreased the actual effectiveness of the hearing protection the device offered.
Without admitting liability, 3M Co. has agreed to pay $9.1 million to settle allegations that it supplied the U.S. military with defective earplugs, Department of Justice officials announced late Thursday.