Hundreds of veterans are filing lawsuits against 3M Company for its manufacture and distribution of defective earplugs from 2003-2015 that likely caused partial or total hearing loss. Though 3M recently paid $9.1 million to settle claims that it equipped service members with earplugs it knew were defective, this may just be the tip of the iceberg.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, tinnitus, which is a ringing or buzzing that originates in the head, is the number one disability among U.S. veterans. It’s alleged that 3M knowingly distributed defective earplugs that caused veterans to develop tinnitus, since the earplugs failed in their designed function to protect the wearer’s ears from loud sounds, including gunfire and explosions.
Since tinnitus affects 1.3 million U.S. veterans, it’s likely more lawsuits will be filed in the wake of this controversy. Learn if you’re one of many affected veterans and how you can seek justice.
Common Symptoms of Hearing Problems Caused by Defective Earplugs
Three of the most common hearing problems associated with 3M’s defective earplugs include tinnitus, auditory processing disorder (APD), and balancing problems. Review the symptoms of these three afflictions below to see if your symptoms match those of affected veterans.
Tinnitus. The perception of sound when no actual external noise is present. While tinnitus is commonly described as a “ringing in the ears,” other types of sounds experienced include buzzing, hissing, swooshing, and clicking. Tinnitus can be an acute or chronic problem.
Auditory processing disorder (APD). People with APD do not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words. They find it difficult to identify where sounds are coming from, make sense of the order of sounds, or block out competing background noises.
Balancing problems. Individuals with balancing disorders often feel unsteady or dizzy. When standing or lying down, people with balancing disorders may feel as though they’re moving, spinning, or floating.
Seeking Legal Action
If you’re a veteran who served in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces from 2003-2015 and your symptoms match those listed above, you may have a hearing problem caused by the defective 3M Combat Arms Earplugs.
Let our experienced personal injury attorneys fight for the justice you deserve. Our team at Vollor Law Firm, P.A., P.A. can help you navigate through the complicated process of pursuing legal action against negligent parties.
We’re here to fight for you, as you fought for our country. Contact Vollor Law Firm, P.A., P.A. at (662) 269-6188 for a free consultation today!