The Department of Justice announced in a press release that 3M Company (3M) has agreed 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.
What are 3M Combat Arms Earplugs?
Minneapolis-based 3M manufactured these dual-ended earplugs for hearing protection from close range firearms and other loud impact noises.
Due to the defective design, the earplugs can slightly loosen and subtly move out of the ear canal just enough for the loud sounds to cause hearing damage.
According to reports, 3M knew of these design defects, but knowingly sold them to the US military from 2003 – 2015. As a result they have agreed to cash settlements.
According to the complaint, the earplugs “have likely caused thousands of soldiers to suffer significant hearing loss and tinnitus in addition to exposing millions to the risk caused by 3Ms defective earplugs.” (Source: US Dept. of Justice)
Possible Damages include: Hearing loss, Tinnitus – ringing in the ears, Permanent hearing damage, Deafness
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The 3M earplugs are the dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2. They were used by U.S. military men and woman from 2003 – 2015 and were supposed to protect their hearing from the loud noises they were exposed to.