3M earplugs were intended to keep military troops safe, but they have done more harm than good.
Between the years of 2003 and 2015, 3M provided earplugs to members of the United States military for use in combat to protect the hearing of soldiers. During combat situations, members of the military are subjected to very loud noises from explosions, gun fire, and more. The 3M earplugs were intended to block out these sounds, while also allowing troops to hear small noises, such as whispered commands.
Unfortunately, the earplugs 3M supplied to the government were defective, and now many people in the military are dealing with severe injuries due to that defect. If you have been injured by 3M earplugs, it is important to speak to a Florida product liability lawyer who can help.
The Harm of 3M Earplugs
The earplugs supplied by 3M to the American government were used by thousands of military members for over a decade. The earplugs were intended to be worn in one of two ways. The first way is to create a seal around the inner ear and block out the loudest of noises, including those associated with warfare. The second way for soldiers to wear the earplugs is to open them slightly, allowing the user to hear smaller sounds, such as commands from higher-ranking officials.
The problem with the plugs is that they are too short, which can cause them to become easily dislodged in the ear and break the seal. The broken seal is very subtle, and users typically do not notice it, causing them to continue using them while they are not fully protected. While the seal is broken, the earplugs do not provide the protection our troops require. Now, it is being found that veterans are suffering from partial or total hearing loss and conditions such as tinnitus as a result of wearing the defective 3M earplugs. Tinnitus is a chronic condition that manifests as a constant ringing, buzzing, or clicking in the ears.
Holding 3M Accountable
In Florida, and everywhere else throughout the country, manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe to use. In 2016, a whistleblower came forward, alleging that 3M’s earplugs were defective and that 3M was aware of the defect. After that finding, 3M paid a $9.1 million settlement to the American government for violating the False Claims Act. Unfortunately, that does little for military members who have already sustained hearing loss.
Manufacturers that are negligent can be held accountable in the form of a civil lawsuit. Today, several class action lawsuits have already been filed in Florida against 3M. Any veteran or active member of the military who has been injured by 3M earplugs should speak to a product liability lawyer for help with their claim.
Our Florida Product Liability Lawyers are Here to Help
If you have been injured by 3M earplugs, it is important to know that you can file a claim for compensation to help with your medical bills, lost income, and more. At Ged Lawyers, LLP, our Boca Raton product liability lawyers will build a strong case to give you the best chance of securing the damages you need. Call us today at (561) 995-1966 or contact us online to schedule a free case review.