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Allegations have arisen that the company 3M produced defective earplugs for soldiers in combat. These earplugs were issued to soldiers between 2002 and 2016, and many have allegedly experienced hearing loss as a result of them not working correctly. If you believe you may be one of these soldiers, you need to contact an army ear plugs hearing loss law firm to find out if you’re eligible for compensation.
Did You Use CAEv2 Earplugs?
Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) were manufactured by 3M and provided to the military as part of an ongoing contract. These earplugs were designed to protect your ears in two ways. First, they worked like normal earplugs if you placed the green side in your ear. In this position, they blocked out most sounds.
If you used the yellow side, they were designed to protect the ears from explosions and the impulsive sounds that result. When used in this way, the person could still hear conversations and other sounds, but their ears would be protected from explosives. However, it was for this purpose that the CAEv2 earplugs failed. They did not form a tight enough seal in the ear, which allowed those impulse sounds to go through and cause damage.
What Damage Results from Defective CAEv2 Plugs?
Many soldiers experience hearing loss in the field, but it traditionally results in not being able to hear or tinnitus (ringing in the ears). With this situation, the condition is auditory processing disorder or APD.
If a person has APD, they will likely test normal in a hearing test and can hear most sounds. The problem is that the brain has difficulty transmitting signals about what the sounds are. A prime example is when a person is in a crowded room, and there are several conversations going on. Normally, they would still be able to hear what the person is saying who is talking directly to them. If they have APD, they will have trouble hearing that person or anyone else.
The issue with this condition is that it makes things difficult in normal life. The person may not be able to talk on the phone or follow instructions as easily. They may not multitask successfully because they can’t follow a conversation and do something else or deal with multiple sounds.
Is 3M Responsible?
A whistleblower case developed where an employee said that 3M knew about the defective earplugs when they purchased the company that manufactured them. They allegedly did not change the design to eliminate the defects before issuing the earplugs to the military. 3M paid the government for the cost of the earplugs in the case.
Soldiers who suffered hearing loss because of the defective devices have not received compensation. If you or a loved one have difficulties with hearing after being in the military, you need to contact an attorney to find out if you are eligible for compensation. You may be able to receive damages for your medical expenses and lost wages as well as other pain and suffering or losses you may have incurred.