As Americans, we always want to protect our troops and ensure their safety. One way we have protected our troops is by equipping them with the latest in technology. However, even with all of our emphasis on safety, thousands of American military personnel are now experiencing hearing loss and tinnitus, an incurable hearing condition, due to faulty earplugs supplied by 3M®, a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Thankfully, awareness has begun to increase regarding the dangers 3M® put our troops in. 3M’s® defective CAEv2 earplugs were issued standard to our troops, and now thousands are suffering from the effects of these earplugs.
Between 2003 and 2015, the Department of Defense had contracted 3M® to provide a “superior” earplug to issue as standard to our troops. These earplugs were designed to be dual-ended, with one side allowing soft noises such as talking to pass through while blocking loud noises such as explosions.
The trademarked earplugs, the CAEv2’s as 3M® had called them, were issued to armed forces all around the world, including Afghanistan and Iraq.
However, it was only a matter of time before the public found out that the earplugs created by 3M® were faulty. A major competitor of 3M®, Moldex-Metric®, was also a contestant in the bid to create a standard-issue earplug.
After losing the contract to 3M®, Moldex-Metric® tested 3M’s® earplugs and soon found out that the earplugs did not offer the protection 3M® said they would. It was soon discovered that 3M® had manipulated its testing data, which led Moldex-Metric® to file suit against 3M® under the Qui Tam False Claims Act.
How We Got Here
The lawsuit filed by Moldex-Metri®c suggests that 3M® knew that their military-issued earplugs were not long enough to allow for proper protective insertion into the ear. Furthermore, the poorly-designed earplugs could not maintain a tight fit due to the lack of the overall length. During testing of 3M’s® earplugs, researchers were also unable to block out certain sounds.
Testing data confirms that over time, the 3M® earplugs would begin to dislodge from the user’s ear, which could let in loud and violent noises. Some soldiers also had their earplugs “fold back”, leading them to lose their soundproof seal.
The United States Department of Justice soon saw the extent to which 3M® had manipulated its test data. 3M® and the Department of Justice soon settled on a fine of $9.1 million to resolve these allegations.
Who Received These Earplugs?
Thousands of active-duty troops and veterans may not even realize they have used these earplugs. The United States Government purchased millions of units for its troops all across the world. The earplugs were also standard-issue during any foreign engagement, these engagements include:
- The Afghanistan war
- The Iraq War
- Yemeni Civil War
- Operation Ocean Shield
- The United States Intervention in Libya
How can I Learn More?
Thousands of troops were affected by defective earplugs they were issued. Many users of the plugs soon suffered from hearing loss or tinnitus, a condition where a constant ringing noise is present in a person's ear. To learn more about your options, contact USA Consumer Network today to learn about how you can receive compensation for your hearing-related issues due to 3M’s® defective Combat Arms Earplugs today.
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