What Types of Injuries are Associated with 3M Military Earplugs?

Georgia B. Day

If you are a veteran or active military (and even if you are not) you may have heard about the recent whistleblower lawsuit against 3M Company (“3M”) for manufacturing and knowingly selling defective military earplugs to the United States government.

As noted in several of our other blog posts, briefly, what happened is that between the years of 2003 to 2015, defense contractor, 3M sold dual-end earplugs (“3M Combat Arms TM Earplugs”) to the U.S. Government, which issued the earplugs to all active military servicemen and women.

The earplugs were supposed to protect the servicemember’s ear canals from damaging noises from gunfire or explosions during training or active combat. Unfortunately for thousands of U.S. military veterans (and still active military), the earplugs were dangerously defective. They moved imperceptibly in the wearer’s ears, allowing the ear canal to go completely unprotected and causing significant hearing damage to thousands.

Most reprehensible of all, 3M (through its predecessor, Aearo Technologies) was aware as far back as 2000 that the earplugs were dangerously defective. Yet they continued to sell these defective earplugs to the government to be issued to all servicemen and women. In 2106, a whistleblower lawsuit was brought against 3M and 3M was charged with violations of the False Claims Act. 3M refused to accept liability for the earplugs’ defects, but they paid $9.1 million to settle the claims against them. The money went solely to reimburse the government for the public funds it paid to the companies over the years for their defective products. None of the $9.1 million settlement compensates an individual for being damaged by the defective earplugs.

While left on their own to hire counsel to obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries due to these earplugs, the defective 3M Combat Earplugs are no longer being issued by the government to our servicemen and women.

What Injuries Have Servicemembers Suffered from the Defective 3M Earplugs?

Hearing Loss.

By far the most prevalent injuries servicemen and women who were issued defective 3M Combat Earplugs from 2003 to 2015, have been a permanent hearing loss. This can be a full hearing loss or partial hearing loss. Whether full or partial, any veteran (or those who were issued 3M Combat Earplugs but still serve) has the right to be compensated for his/her injuries.


Another type of damage caused by the defective 3M Combat Earplugs is tinnitus. Tinnitus is an auditory and neurological condition that is characterized by a ringing, buzzing, roaring, or hissing in the ear. This happens even when there is not external hissing or buzzing noise. Tinnitus is also a common symptom associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

Hearing loss that is full, partial, or permanent can affect a person’s entire life. It can have a negative impact on everything from personal relationships to day-to-day living.

Here to Help You.

If you need 3M Combat Earplugs counsel in Louisiana, call us. We serve Baton Rouge, Baker, Denham, Gonzales, Port Allen, Prairieville, New Orleans, and Zachary. We offer free consultations and we do not get paid unless you win your case. Call 225-200-0000 to schedule your free consultation ToDay.

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Justin A. Day

A proud graduate of Southern University Law Center and former president of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Justin is best known for providing his clients with the personal attention they need while fighting hard to get them the compensation they deserve. Justin and his team are not afraid to take on the tough cases or fight the good fight. Dedicated and tenacious, for over 18 years, Justin has consistently achieved superior results for the clients he serves.

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Georgia B. Day

Georgia B. Day

Georgia B. Day is an experienced personal injury and worker’s compensation attorney. A former Administrative Law Judge for the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Georgia is driven by a desire to obtain justice for individuals injured in the workplace and those who have been injured due to the carelessness of others. Georgia takes pride in providing her clients with the best possible representation. Polished and professional, Georgia is best known for her excellent work ethic, obtaining superior results, and her responsiveness to clients.

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