Defective Military Ear Plugs News
Suits linking alleged defects in 3M Co.‘s combat earplugs led to hearing loss in hundreds of members of the U.S. military will be consolidated in federal court in Florida, a federal panel of judges decided April 3.
The rapidly swelling mass tort litigation now consists of 643 related federal cases, according to the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
A recent legal settlement has brought fresh attention to two of the biggest health problems veterans face. The settlement concerned protective military earplugs that allegedly were defective. The Pentagon settled with the earplugs' maker 3M Company.
And the two problems? Retired Army Brig. Gen. William Gothard of Fayetteville, N.C. has both of them. He said his 36 years of service have left him with hearing loss and a maddening condition called tinnitus. "It sounds like a chorus of cicadas sitting on your shoulders constantly, and the less ambient noise around, the worse that tinnitus is," he said.
Hundreds of veterans are filing lawsuits against Minnesota-based 3M Co. for manufacturing and selling defective combat earplugs, including a claim from a retired Fort Drum soldier.
In 2006, the government entered into a contract with 3M, in which the company supplied an estimated annual quantity of 15,000 earplug packages with 50 pairs per package, at a guaranteed price of about $9 million in sales for the year, according to a federal lawsuit.
Army veterans Joseph Junk and David Henderson relied on earplugs to protect their hearing during training and combat. Now, both men say they suffer hearing loss as a result of defective ear plugs sold to the military by 3M and have joined in a lawsuit against the company.
“I mean, the basic explanation is you can rely on your training and your equipment,” Henderson told CBS This Morning. "Everybody was just under the impression that these particular earplugs were doing their job.”
Hundreds of military veterans are expected to file lawsuits against the manufacturing company 3M, claiming it knowingly sold defective earplugs. These complaints come after the Justice Department settled a lawsuit with the company in July over allegations the company defrauded the government by selling earplugs with "dangerous design defects" to the military for "more than a decade."
3M agreed to pay $9.1 million to the government, but admitted no liability. CBS News' Dr. Jon LaPook spoke with servicemen who deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they were in close proximity to small arms, heavy artillery and rockets. Until that 3M settlement, they believed their hearing loss was par for the course.
Hundreds of veterans Opens a New Window. are filing lawsuits against 3M stating that the manufacturing company knowingly sold defective ear plugs that consequently caused hearing lost. The complaints come after the company settled a $9.1 million lawsuit in July with the Justice Department Opens a New Window. over allegations of defective ear plugs.
More than 100 military veterans have filed federal lawsuits in Waco against the Minnesota-based 3M Co., alleging the corporate giant provided earplugs to the military that it knew were defective.
The most recent suit was filed last week on behalf of Joshua K. Smith, an Army sergeant from Marlin who served from 2007 to 2015, including duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is seeking damages for significant hearing loss and other medical issues related to his military service while wearing what he alleges were defective Combat Arms earplugs provided by 3M.
Members of the armed forces for the United States military set a standard for performance unlike any the world has ever known. For those who serve in theaters of war, it often costs them the maximum. All give some; few come home the same.
Our country has taken great strides to improve how we care for and provide to those who return from war with very visible injuries. The resources that are made available to our veterans who are maimed, dismembered and disfigured are immeasurably greater than what was available to servicemen and women of past generations. Prosthetics post 1993 Somalia come to mind as a great accomplishment. However, we continue as a society to fail those who come home with non-visible wounds. Worse, we continue to justify it by giving them the bare minimum required to suggest we tried.
When Dale Nash of Vincennes deployed to Iraq with the Army National Guard in 2003, he wore military-issued earplugs meant to protect his hearing from explosions, weapons fire and other combat noise.
Nash says the earplugs, made by Indianapolis-based Aearo Technologies LLC, didn’t work. Now 50, Nash was diagnosed with hearing loss and tinnitus in 2006, and last month, he filed a product-liability suit in Marion Superior Court against Aearo and its corporate parent, St. Paul, Minnesota-based 3M Co. More than 200 current and former members of the military from multiple states have filed similar suits in federal and state court in recent weeks.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Army veteran living in Round Rock is joining the thousands of veterans who are suing Minnesota-based company 3M over earplugs the company sold to the military. The veterans say they have a variety of hearing problems because these plugs did not adequately protect their ears during training and combat. They also believe that 3M knew about defects in theses earplugs, but sold them to the U.S. government anyway.
Hundreds of veterans are filing lawsuits against a government contractor that manufactured and sold defective combat earplugs to the military. The earplugs didn’t maintain a tight seal and allowed dangerously loud sounds to slip through without the wearer knowing.
The lawsuits allege that Minnesota-based 3M Company designed the earplugs in a defective manner and failed to warn users of the defect or to provide proper instructions for their use, according to a copy of one lawsuit provided to Military Times.
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.