Combat Arms Earplug Lawyers For Hearing Loss Cases

The product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. previously reviewed earplug class action lawsuits and military hearing loss claims for individuals who were provided 3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) during service.

Military Combat Earplugs

In July 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a $9.1 million settlement was reached with 3M Company, resolving allegations that it knowingly sold defective dual-end earplugs to the military, without disclosing that design defects may result in ineffective protection.

Did you or a family member work or live at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River between 1953 – 1987? You may be eligible for a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit settlement.

Between 2003 and late 2015, nearly every deployed soldier or military service member was issued CAEv2. However, 3M Company withheld important information about design defects, and failed to provide adequate warnings or instructions for users.

As a result of the apparent decision to place the desire for profits before the safety of U.S. military service members, financial compensation and benefits has become available through a 3M earplug settlement for veterans left with irreversible hearing damage.

3M Earplug Lawsuit Settlement Agreement

On August 28, 2023, 3M agreed to a $6 billion settlement to resolve approximately 260,000 lawsuits filed by current and former U.S. military service members who alleged hearing damage due to defects in the company’s earplugs. The settlement consists of approximately $5 billion in cash and $1 billion in 3M common stock, to be paid out from 2023 to 2029.

Problems with 3M Combat Arm Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2)

3M Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) are dual-ended, or reversible, featuring one end that is yellow and another that is olive/dark green.

  • Dark End Inserted: With the olive green or dark end in, the earplugs are designed to be “closed” or “fully blocked”, preventing all sound like a traditional earplug.
  • Yellow End Inserted: With the yellow side in, the earplugs are supposed to provide non-linear, or selective attenuation. This is supposed to reduces loud impulse sounds, such as battlefield explosions and artillery fire, while allowing users to hear quieter noises, such as spoken commands.

3M Company marketed Combat Arms as a “pre-molded triple flange design” that fit most ear canals. However, evidence now indicates that the company knew the earplugs contained a design defect, as they were too short for proper insertion and tend to gradually move out of place, which renders them ineffective. This information was not provided to the U.S. Government or to military personnel.

A defective earplug design caused Combat Arms/CAEv2 to slowly loosen over time, leaving military users at risk of permanent hearing damage.

Military Earplug Hearing Loss Claims

A surprisingly large number of military service members have filed hearing disability claims or been left with long-term hearing damage after they were issued and used 3M Combat Arms earplugs during training and deployment.

Symptoms of hearing loss caused by the defective earplugs may include:

  • Tinnitus or Ringing in the Ears
  • Listening to Television or Radio At High Volumes
  • Trouble Understanding Speech (Especially with female and young voices)
  • Difficulty Hearing Certain Word Sounds (i.e. “s”, “sh”, “th”, “f”, “v”)
  • Often Asking People To Repeat Themselves
  • Need for a Hearing Aid

No Fees or Expenses Unless You Receive a Hearing Loss Settlement

Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. is a nationally known injury law firm that is focused exclusively on representing individuals, we do not represent corporations or insurance companies.

soldier with hearing loss

Over the course of more than 40 years, our clients have collected more than $1 billion of compensation in cases for product liability, medical malpractice and other personal injury lawsuits.

All 3M defective earplug lawsuits are handled by our attorneys on a contingency fee basis, which means that there are never any out-of-pocket expenses to hire our law firm and we only receive a fee if compensation is secured for our client.