Defective 3M Earplugs Were Sold To The Military
Last year, a military whistleblower came forward to accuse a Minnesota-based company of knowingly selling the U.S. military defective earplugs. According to the whistleblower, 3M and its parent company, Aearo Technologies, Inc., were aware of the product’s defects, yet they continued to sell them to the military anyway.
The False Claims Act and Defective Ear Plugs
The whistleblower initially pursued a lawsuit against the companies per the False Claims Act. This act allows private individuals to sue on behalf of the government, which the military whistleblower did. He alleged, in defense of the government, that the contractor intentionally and knowingly sold the U.S. military the defective earplugs.
The complaint states that 3M’s Version 2, dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs were obviously too short to properly protect soldier’s ears from loud noises. The earplugs’ size often caused them to loosen within the user’s ears, which nullified the noise-cancellation aspect of the product. According to the lawsuit, 3M became aware of the product’s problem back in 2000.
While 3M was aware of the product’s issues, they failed to disclose or warn the military before selling the earplugs.
Military Times reports that all the claims in the lawsuit are only allegations. While the case has been resolved, there was no determination about who would be held liable for injuries from the defective plug. Despite this, 3M will be paying the government a $9.1 million lump-sum to reimburse them for buying the defective products.
Were Soldiers Injured by the Earplugs?
These specific types of earplugs were reportedly used by the military between 2003 and 2015. After using the earplugs, several military members suffered from injuries like:
- Minor hearing loss
- Irreparable and permanent damage to hearing
Not surprisingly, tinnitus and hearing loss are both listed as some of the most common types of disabilities that modern-day veterans suffer from.
3M’s failure to disclose the earplug’s defects and warn the military was negligent behavior. Thousands of previous court cases have set a precedent that companies are obligated to a reasonable level of care TO PREVENT DEFECTS IN THEIR PRODUCTS FROM INJURING their consumers. If you’ve been injured by 3M’s defective earplugs, then you have legal options. Military members and or civilians who used these products are encouraged to contact a product liability lawyer to advise them pursue lawsuits to seek the financial compensation they deserve.
Contact a Red Bank Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Defective Device Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to defective device in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Drazin & Warshaw represent clients injured because of defective devices in Red Bank, Hazlet, Brick, and throughout New Jersey.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.