About 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs
CAEv2 earplugs were designed with two different modes of use. One side, referred to as Weapons-Fire Mode, restricted high-level impulse noise like gunfire, while still allowing lower level sounds through. The other side, called Closed/Constant Protection Mode, restricted sound of all types up to and including loud vehicles and aircraft.
These earplugs were often referred to by service members as “Christmas tree” plugs because of their shape, and because they were color-coded with one green end and one yellow end to differentiate between modes of use.
Lawsuits have been filed on behalf of service members who suffered tinnitus, or ringing of the ears, and hearing loss and who served in the military between 2003 and 2015. They allege that, not only have the earplugs caused permanent damage, but that 3M knew the earplugs were defective, yet continued to sell them to the U.S. military.
These claims are well-founded—use of CAEv2 earplugs has been conclusively linked to permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, both 3M and their predecessor, Aearo Technologies Inc., knew they were selling earplugs that were too short for some soldiers to properly insert them, and that the plugs could loosen imperceptibly, causing them to lose effectiveness.
In July 2018, whistleblowers filed a suit against 3M that resulted in a $9.1 million verdict against 3M. The case was filed under the False Claims Act, which is a provision that holds corporations accountable for misrepresenting products and services sold to the United States government. Because the claim was filed under this type of lawsuit, settlement funds went to the government and not to the potentially thousands of men and women who were injured; however, the suit creates a precedent for individual claims against 3M, like those St. Louis personal injury attorneys Carey Danis & Lowe are now representing.
Do You Qualify for a 3M CAEv2 Earplug Lawsuit?
Even if you currently receive disability pay for tinnitus, hearing damage, or hearing loss, you can also qualify for representation in a 3M earplug lawsuit if you meet the following criteria:
- You served in any branch of U.S. military service between 2003–2015.
- 3M CAEv2 earplugs were issued to you during service.
- You suffer from permanent damage, including:
- Constant or intermittent tinnitus, which can include ringing, whining, or buzzing sounds
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Partial or complete hearing loss in one or both ears
- Sleep disturbance
- Neck aches
- Ear pain
Though there are no guarantees in these lawsuits, you may be eligible for compensation for the following:
- Past, current, and/or future medical expenses for physician visits, hearing aids, testing, prescription drugs, occupational therapy, and mental health therapy.
- Past or future loss of income due to hearing loss or other damage.
- Decrease in quality of life because of hearing loss or other damage.
Do You Have a Case Against 3M for Hearing Loss or Damage?
If you believe you have a case against 3M for hearing loss or damage resulting from the use of CAEv2 earplugs, we can help. Contact Carey Danis & Lowe for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team can evaluate your situation and walk with you through the process to ensure you are compensated—and that corporations like 3M are held accountable for valuing profits over the lives of our military personnel.