When someone in the Armed Forces is deployed overseas, their safety may not always be guaranteed. However, our soldiers trust that the devices and equipment given to them will work properly to help ensure their safety and health.
If you were in the Army and served overseas between 2003 and 2015, you most likely used 3M Combat Arms Earplugs. These were the standard issue earplugs of the time. Since then, thousands of veterans have suffered hearing loss and tinnitus as a result of using them.
The Department of Justice settled a lawsuit against 3M in 2018. However, if you are a veteran who has been affected by the defective earplugs, you may be eligible for compensation for the injuries you sustained due to these defective devices.
The 3M Combat Arms Earplug was supposedly designed to meet the needs of personnel operating in combat operations. Inserted one way, the earplugs were supposed to provide constant protection against all noise. Inserted the other way, the earplugs were supposed to allow combatants to hear orders given under gunfire.
This was not the case. The earplugs were cone-shaped, but they may have been too short to fit into some ear canals. In many instances, the earplugs came loose but did so in a way unnoticed by the persons wearing them.
The Consequences of Hearing Loss
Thousands of servicemembers have been affected by this defect. Many have suffered permanent damage to their hearing or have lost it altogether. If you stayed in the service to pursue a career, the damage done to your hearing may prevent you from ever again deploying to a forward area. This could have negatively affected your prospects for promotion and advancement. If you left the Army at the end of your contract, the damage done to your hearing may have prevented you from pursuing gainful employment in the private sector.
Symptoms of hearing loss caused by impact noise do not always present themselves straightaway. The degradation of your hearing may have occurred over numerous years. In fact, you may not have realized the damage done until well after you left the service. The Department of Veterans Affairs has dealt with a great many cases like this; it is a phenomenon that is well-known and well-documented in official circles.
The pain and suffering that this has caused you and your family, the many tests you have had to diagnose the problem, the medical expenses you have paid to resolve it, and the loss of income and damage done to your career in the military or the private sector are all grounds for filing a lawsuit against 3M.
Do You Need an Attorney?
You should contact a personal injury attorney if you have been affected by the damage done by the negligence of Aero Technologies, the manufacturer of the 3M earplugs. The company has never admitted fault for their defective product, and although they have settled with DOJ, there are still thousands of veterans across the country who remain negatively impacted by these defective devices.
During your initial consultation, your personal injury attorney will ask you to recall the details of your combat deployment and the instances in which you used the earplugs. They will also ask you about the current state of your hearing ability and what your physicians say the future may hold. Hearing once damaged is difficult to recover. The kind of impact damage caused by the conditions of combat can rarely be repaired. However, it is possible to pursue compensation from the people whose negligence led to it.
Protecting Your Rights
If you or a loved one suffered hearing loss due to defective 3M earplugs, don’t wait to take action. The lawsuits being filed against 3M’s manufacturer are well-known in the legal community and to the attorneys at Vollor Law Firm, P.A..
Our personal injury attorneys will launch their own investigation into the company’s negligence and how your hearing was affected during your time in the service. We will look at your medical documentation to show the gradual progression of your hearing loss following your time in the service using these earplugs.
We believe that veterans deserve to be compensated for the injuries they sustained due to these defective products. As veterans, you fought to protect our rights. Now, it’s our turn to protect yours.
If you or a loved one is a veteran who used the 3M earplugs and have suffered hearing loss as a result, you need legal representation to get the compensation you deserve. Contact Vollor Law Firm, P.A. at (662) 269-6188 for a free case evaluation.