Did You Suffer Hearing Loss While Serving in the Armed Forces?
If you served in the U.S. military at any time between 2003 and 2015, we have some important news for you. First of all, thank you for your service. If you were a servicemember during the 12-year period we mentioned, it’s likely you were issued Combat Arms™ CAEv2 Earplugs, which were manufactured and sold to the U.S. Armed Forces by the American multinational corporation 3M.
These two-toned, dual-ended earplugs were supposed to protect soldiers’ ears from explosions, gunfire, and other loud noises occurring in a combat environment. Unfortunately, many soldiers who used these earplugs while deployed, or in training, have suffered serious hearing loss and tinnitus. If you are one of the brave servicemembers who has been injured by these defective earplugs, you may be entitled to compensation from 3M.
A Design Flaw
After an investigation, it was discovered that the hearing damage many soldiers suffered was due to a design flaw and lack of instructions on how to properly wear the plugs.
A Whistleblower Came Forth
3M has always maintained it was unaware of this design flaw when it sold these faulty earplugs to the military. However, in 2018, a whistleblower came forward and revealed that 3M was aware that one version of the plugs was defective as far back as the year 2000.
A $9.1 Million Settlement
Even though 3M continues to deny that the earplugs were defective and refuses to admit to any wrongdoing, the corporation did agree to pay the Department of Defense $9.1 million to settle the allegations. Unfortunately, this settlement will not be distributed amongst the injured soldiers and veterans. If military service personnel want to receive compensation for their hearing loss or tinnitus, they will have to take civil action by filing a lawsuit.
Which Soldiers and Veterans Are Eligible for Compensation?
To file an injury claim and receive compensation, soldiers and veterans must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces between 2003 and 2015; have been issued the earplugs; and have been diagnosed with tinnitus or hearing loss by a licensed medical professional.
What Kind of Compensation May I Be Entitled To?
Depending on the severity and characteristics of your injury, you may seek compensation for any or all of the following damages:
- Medical bills for present and future treatment.
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of career or earning capacity.
- Punitive damages.
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3M is a large, powerful corporation. And as evidenced by its refusal to accept liability for the injuries our soldiers have suffered, 3M is unlikely to offer you fair compensation on its own. The skilled legal team at the Rhine Law Firm, P.C., is not afraid to stand up to 3M and get you the compensation you truly deserve. Call (910) 772-9960 today for a free case evaluation.
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