The company 3M has recently been involved in a lawsuit over their Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) that were issued for soldiers between 2002 and 2016. These earplugs were given to soldiers in combat to protect their ears from loud sounds and explosions, but they are alleged to be defective. Many people are looking for a 3M CAEv2 Combat Arms earplugs lawyer who can tell them if they have a case.
The Purpose of the Earplugs
These earplugs were designed to protect the hearing of soldiers in combat who may face loud sounds and explosions in nearby range. These plugs worked in two ways. The first side, which was the green side of the plug, was designed to work like normal earplugs and block out most noises.
The second side, which was the yellow side, was designed to protect the ears from the pressure of impulse sounds which occur with an explosion. While they are wearing the yellow side in, the solder can still hear people talking or gunfire.
What Went Wrong
Many of these soldiers suffered hearing damage because the yellow side of the earplugs allegedly didn’t work as they were supposed to because the stems of the plugs weren’t long enough to create a tight seal. The result was a condition called auditory processing disorder, which occurred because of exposure to the impulse sounds of explosions.
Auditory processing disorder or APD causes a person not to be able to understand certain sounds. It impacts the way the brain processes the sounds it hears. For instance, in a crowded room with numerous people talking a person with APD might have trouble understanding what anyone is saying because the sounds all run together.
The impact of this condition can be far-reaching. It can limit a person’s ability to find work or to function in public. It can even make it more difficult for them to talk on the phone. They will likely find it more difficult to multitask or to follow instructions because they may miss some of the words.
Why 3M is Responsible
Allegations have been made that 3M was aware of these defects when it purchased Aearo Technologies, which was the manufacturer of the product, and that instead of making changes to the design to ensure the earplugs would work correctly, the company continued to make them as they were when offered a contract with the US Military.
A whistleblower lawsuit resulted over this situation, which led the Department of Defense to intercede. The company paid the government for the cost of the earplugs, but nothing has been done to pay the medical costs or otherwise compensate military personnel who have suffered from the defective devices.
Anyone who has served in the military during the covered period and has sustained hearing loss may be eligible for compensation. They should contact an attorney who can help them file a lawsuit and determine their losses. These damages may include medical costs, loss of work or wages and pain and suffering. If you are one of the people in this situation, contact a law firm who can help you today.