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3M Earplug Lawsuit Update

Riddle Brantley LLP   |  April 15, 2021   |  

Hundreds of thousands of veterans who served in active combat 2003-2015 may be entitled to significant financial compensation in the 3M earplug lawsuits for hearing loss and tinnitus allegedly caused by defective Combat Arms earplugs for the US military. What is the status of these lawsuits? In this 3M earplug lawsuit update, we’ll bring you up to speed.

It is shameful that a company may have profited from earplugs it allegedly knew were defective, resulting in hearing loss among thousands of our country’s bravest men and women.

Update on 3M Earplug Lawsuits

Lawsuits against the manufacturer, 3M, have been consolidated into multi-district litigation (MDL) in Pensacola, Florida federal court. With more than 229,000 claimants, the 3M earplug lawsuits are especially promising for plaintiffs because 3M military earplug litigation is currently the largest MDL class action in American history.  

2021 Update: 3M Military Earplug Lawsuits Go to Trial

3M Earplug Lawsuit Update - Riddle & BrantleyFor context, the next largest MDL, involving Johnson & Johnson talcum powder, has about 30,000 claimants. The first 3M earplug cases recently went to trial, and depending on how these early “bellwether” lawsuits go, 3M may face increasing pressure to reach a quicker settlement with thousands of veterans and military service members who claim the company’s defective ear plugs caused their hearing loss.

With lawsuits moving to trial, affected active duty military and veterans who served 2003-2015 and suffered hearing loss or tinnitus after using 3M Combat Arms earplugs should contact us for a FREE consultation ASAP.

As of April 2021, it is not too late to join these lawsuits, but the clock is ticking.

You may be entitled to significant financial compensation and we would love to help you get the justice you deserve.

You served our country, and now it is time for us to serve you.

Call 1-800-525-7111 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced product liability attorney.

The consultation is free and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive compensation.

If you know a veteran or active duty service member who may be affected, please share this 3M earplug lawsuit update with them. We would love to help anyone affected get the justice they deserve.

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Why is the 3M Earplug Litigation So Large?

3M Earplug MDL and Trial Status - Riddle & Brantley3M Combat Arms earplugs were standard-issue equipment to all military service members from 2003 to 2015, as 3M had an exclusive contract with the U.S. military through the Department of Defense.

Between 2003 and 2015, 3M distributed over 2.2 million potentially defective earplugs to active duty service members. 

Since 3M earplugs were standard-issue equipment, this means that anyone who served in the military between 2003 and 2015, served in active combat, and suffered permanent hearing loss may have a potential 3M earplug lawsuit against the product manufacturer for negligence.

What’s Happening with 3M Earplugs Lawsuits in 2021?

Jury selection in the first 3M Combat Arms earplug bellwether trial began on March 29, 2021 in federal court in Florida. The start of the first bellwether trial is an important step in multidistrict litigation. Depending on how the bellwether cases go, and if plaintiffs begin winning these cases, a 3M earplug settlement could quickly follow.

Although ultimate settlement figures are difficult to predict, many attorneys think that if the bellwether trials go well for plaintiffs, a potentially significant global 3M earplug settlement could be reached by late 2022.

What Compensation is Available in the 3M Earplug Lawsuits?

Although it is impossible to predict what the exact settlement figures will be in the current 3M Earplug MDL lawsuits, attorneys predict that the 3M earplug litigation could be one of the largest MDL class action settlements of the year. 

With the first bellwether trials having started in April 2021, the outcome of these initial trials will give future 3M earplug plaintiffs a clearer picture of what kind of settlement figures to expect.

All 3M earplug plaintiffs stand to recover financial compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, and other damages resulting from the allegedly defective earplugs.

Settlement amounts also depend greatly on factors unique to each plaintiff, such as the severity of a plaintiff’s hearing damage and associated medical expenses. Riddle & Brantley’s product liability attorneys are closely following these cases to keep our clients informed of what to expect at settlement.

The Latest on 3M Earplug Lawsuits

Can I Still File a 3M Earplugs Lawsuit - Riddle & BrantleyAs of April 2021, there is still time for those who served 2003-2015 in active combat and suffered hearing loss after using 3M Combat Arms earplugs.

IMPORTANT: If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with hearing damage after serving 2003-2015 in active combat, you may qualify for significant compensation through a 3M earplug lawsuit. Call 1-800-525-7111 today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation.

We don’t get paid unless you do. It’s as simple as that.

Riddle & Brantley’s 3M earplug lawsuit lawyers are actively reviewing claims against the manufacturer and want to help you today. Please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the short form below for a FREE consultation with our attorneys to see if you qualify.

Who Qualifies for a 3M Earplug Lawsuit?

If you are a serviceman or woman who has suffered hearing loss after using 3M Combat Arms earplugs, you may qualify for significant compensation for your injuries. Our 3M earplug lawyers are currently reviewing cases for military service members who meet the following criteria:

  • Have served in the U.S. military between the years of 2003 to 2015
  • Have served in active combat
  • Have used military-issued dual-end earplugs during their course of military service
  • Have been honorably discharged
  • And have been diagnosed with tinnitus or hearing loss within two years of discharge 

“By far the best law firm that actually cares about helping veterans.”

B. Fields, Riddle & Brantley client

Did 3M Know Military Earplugs Were Defective?

America’s military service members are regularly exposed to loud noises in combat and training environments, and the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs reports that hearing loss, tinnitus, and other forms of hearing impairments are among the most common forms of service-related disabilities.

Combat Arms Earplugs were developed by 3M to provide critical protection to military service members from hearing damage during active duty. The earplugs were touted for their groundbreaking, dual-ended design that was supposed to protect military personnel from hearing damage related to loud sounds, like gunshots and explosions, while still allowing them to hear field commands from officers.

Unfortunately, 3M’s earplugs suffered a variety of size-related manufacturing errors, and the company remedied these issues by shortening the earplug design. However, these shorter earplugs do not fit deeply enough into the inner ear and left military personnel vulnerable to auditory damage from loud noises. This defect was not noticeable to servicemembers while wearing the earplugs, and thus many continued to use 3M earplugs for years without realizing that they did not provide adequate protection against inner ear damage.

Attorneys for 3M Earplugs Lawsuits - Riddle & BrantleyIn 2016, a whistleblower lawsuit was filed by rival earplug manufacturer Modex-Metric on behalf of the government. It is alleged that 3M knew about the earplug’s design flaws as early as 2000, but failed to alert the government or military personnel. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleged that 3M performed modifications to its earplugs to get them to pass critical military tests in order to enter into a contract with the U.S. military, but failed to inform the military or service members of these design alterations.

In 2018, 3M settled this lawsuit for $9.1 million, but did not admit any fault or liability in the settlement.  Now, hundreds of thousands of servicemembers have alleged they suffered severe and irreversible hearing loss as a result of 3M’s earplug design and alleged coverup.

What Injuries Are Potentially Linked to 3M Earplugs?

To date, 3M Combat Arms earplugs have been linked to hundreds of thousands of instances of severe and permanent hearing loss in service members who have used the product during active-duty service.

Common 3M earplug-related hearing damage and conditions among service members include:

  • Tinnitus, which involves a constant ringing or buzzing noise in the ears that can cause sufferers to have difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, and decreased quality of life.
  • Conductive Hearing Loss, which is damage to the middle ear and ear drum.
  • Sensorineural Hearing loss, which is permanent damage to the inner ear and auditory nerve.

If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of U.S. service members who have suffered permanent tinnitus or hearing damage after using 3M earplugs, you have legal options and may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and decreased quality of life.  Our dedicated 3M earplug lawsuit lawyers are currently helping veterans evaluate their legal options against 3M for their injuries and are available today for a free consultation to evaluate your claim for compensation.

“How Do I Join a 3M Earplug Lawsuit?”

UPDATE: As of May 2021, there is still time to join a lawsuit against 3M in these earplug injury cases.

If you are a military service member who served between 2003 and 2015, were in active combat, and suffered permanent hearing damage after using standard-issue 3M Combat Arms earplugs, we want to help.

For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced 3M earplug lawyer, please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the fast and easy form below.

There are no upfront costs and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive financial compensation.

Call 1-800-525-7111 and let’s review your injury claim.

“It was nice to see Riddle & Brantley put me and my needs first.”

R. Colley, Riddle & Brantley client

Our product liability lawyers are ready to evaluate your claim against the manufacturer at no cost to you.

We have recovered more than $600 million in total compensation for victims of injury since 2000 alone (see disclaimer below). We are proud to stand behind our reputation and we strive to treat every client like family.

Riddle & Brantley stands behind the many men and women in uniform who fight for our country every day, and many of our attorneys and staff have close ties to the military. Now, it’s our turn to fight for our military service members by protecting your rights against potentially negligent manufacturing companies like 3M.  

Justice Counts for veterans and active military, and we are ready to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call 1-800-525-7111 today for a FREE, no-obligation 3M earplug lawsuit consultation with one of our attorneys to determine if you qualify for a claim against 3M.

Justice Counts.


*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.