What You Should Know
The dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs™, made by 3M™, have design defects that exposed soldiers to substantial hearing loss and tinnitus. Millions of service members were issued these earplugs between 2003-2015.
The government alleges that the design of the Combat Arms Earplugs™ did not allow for a tight enough seal to be effective, and the earplugs can loosen while being worn. This defect can allow high-decibel noises to enter the ear canal and cause hearing damage, one of the most prevalent ongoing medical problems facing soldiers today.
In July 2018, 3M™ agreed to pay $9.1 million after the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer. The DOJ claims 3M™ knew about the earplugs’ design flaw in 2000, but continued to sell the defective earplugs to the military for more than a decade.
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