Hearing is one of the ways we navigate and understand the world-you touch, see and hear those who are important to you. And whether it is listening to music, investing in meaningful conversations or relaxing with the sound of the crashing ocean waves, your hearing is an extremely important sense.
If you suffer from hearing loss, you know how frustrating it can be to catch only part of what someone is saying or to miss out on the sounds you used to enjoy. And if you diligently used earplugs to protect your ears from damage, your loss of hearing may be even more troublesome. Such is the case for numerous members of the armed forces who used defective 3m earplugs.
How are earplugs important for your health?
Soldiers use ear protection to reduce sounds which could cause inner-ear nerve damage while working around loud machinery and being involved in combat situations.
That protecting your hearing is vital to your health is undeniable. But in addition to protecting your hearing, there are multiple possible side effects of exposure to loud noises. These include:
- Increased adrenaline
- Sleeping problems
- Suppressed immunity
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Despite their use of earplugs during their time served in the military, hundreds of veterans have filed lawsuits against the company who allegedly provided defective ear protection.
Allegations of defective 3M earplugs
The Combat Arms earplugs designed by 3M were allegedly designed without a tight seal and did not protect the ears of the military members who used them.
The company previously agreed to resolve allegations by paying $9.1 million in damages. However, soldiers who used to the 3M product while serving between 2003 and 2015 continue to sue for punitive damages, alleging that the earplugs’ defect resulted in:
- Hearing loss
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Loss of balance
If you or someone you loved served in the armed forces and believe you may suffer due to the use of a defective product, such as those manufactured by 3M, you might want to explore your options by talking to an experienced personal injury attorney. Although you may not be able to completely regain your hearing, you may be able to hold the company accountable for their negligent actions.