West Virginia Firm Seeks Payment for Military Victims of Hearing Loss

Morgantown Mass Tort Lawyer Fights for Veterans Affected by Defective 3M Ear Protection

Healthy hearing alerts us to what’s going on around us and connects us with the rest of the world, including friends and loved ones. When our hearing is damaged, that connection can be severed. This safety threat and loss of quality of life associated with hearing loss is why the affliction is considered a catastrophic injury. It’s also why the 3M Company’s production and sale of defective earplugs for the U.S. Military was such a grievous act of negligence. Service members, who should be entitled to the finest equipment made anywhere for the performance of their duties in training and on the battlefield, were given faulty earplugs that did not protect against noise.

As a result, thousands of veterans have reported hearing loss, tinnitus and other problems. At Mountaineer Injury Law Group in Morgantown and Martinsburg, our we are proud to stand with our veterans. If you believe that you have suffered hearing problems as a result of your military service despite wearing earplugs, my firm will review whether you are eligible for compensation from the 3M settlement fund. If so, I will fight for the payment you deserve.

How the case against 3M came about

The 3M Company contracted with the U.S. Department of Defense to produce ear protection for soldiers who are frequently exposed to dangerously loud noises due to ordnance and other causes. The company delivered a product called Combat Arms Earplugs Version, or CAEv2, during the years 2003-2015. Unfortunately, these earplugs did not protect against noise damage, and in subsequent years, many U.S. veterans complained about hearing loss and tinnitus, a condition characterized by constant ringing, buzzing or whooshing in the ears. Constant annoyance from tinnitus can produce anxiety, irritability, concentration difficulties or depression. It can also disrupt sleep, which contributes to poor overall health and potential memory loss. The Veterans Administration lists hearing loss and tinnitus as compensable disabilities.

In 2016, the device maker Moldex-Metric filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that 3M had sold “dangerously defective” earplugs to the DoD. Consequently, 3M settled that case for $9.1 million in without admitting liability. But that settlement incentivized thousands of individual plaintiffs to sue for the hearing issues caused by defective earplugs. Those suits numbered approximately 250,000 and were consolidated into a single action, the largest mass tort case in U.S. history.

Where the 3M earplug case stands today

In August 2023, 3M agreed to pay $6 billion to veterans harmed by its earplugs. This means that injured veterans can file a claim against the fund without having to litigate the case in court.

Who is eligible for a 3M earplug settlement payment?

You might be eligible to file a 3M earplug claim if:

  • You served in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015; and
  • You used the Combat Arms earplugs; and
  • You now suffer hearing loss, ringing ears or other related symptoms.

Working with a proven products liability attorney gives you the best chance to prove your eligibility and file a successful claim.

Contact a West Virginia attorney for a free 3M earplug claim consultation

Mountaineer Injury Law Group represents West Virginia veterans who suffered hearing problems due to defective 3M earplugs. Please call 304-202-5835 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation Morgantown or Martinsburg. 

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124 Fayette Street,
Morgantown, West Virginia 26505





126 E Burke Street,
Martinsburg, West Virginia 25401