3M Earplugs

  • 3M Earplugs - Medical Record Review & Outsourcing Services

The Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) was manufactured by Aearo Technologies, Inc. prior to being taken over by 3M in 2008. The dual-ended 3M CAEv2 combat earplugs served as a standard form of military hearing protection in foreign conflicts for more than a decade, from 2002 to 2016. The 3M military earplugs are made of green and yellow with a double-ended design. The green end is inserted in order to block all sound, and insertion of the yellow end reduces the sound of gunfire and explosives but still allowed the service personnel to be part of a conversation. According to several lawsuits filed, the defective military earplugs cause two primary medical issues, tinnitus and hearing loss, mostly among veterans in the Navy and Air Force. The product was discontinued in 2015.

Serious Alleged Injuries may include:

  • Hearing Loss
  • Tinnitus or loss of balance

FDA Safety Warnings:

Though the FDA website listed 45 3M products under their recalled list, it does not include military ear protection or any medical device recalls for Aearo Technologies.

Legal Updates:

Defendants:

Aearo Technologies and 3M

Allegations:

Plaintiffs in the defective 3M Earplug lawsuits allege that the design defects of the earplugs cause it to come off from the ear. The complaints asserted that Aero tested the product on their own employees and failed to meet the design standard requirements. Plaintiffs alleged that the earplugs left them with hearing loss and ringing in the ears.

Lawsuit Status:

More than 640 injury lawsuits related to the defective earplugs are centralized as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDLNo. 2885; In Re: 3M Combat Arms Earplug Litigation) against Minnesota-based 3M, overlooked by Judge M. Casey Rodgers in the Northern District of Florida.

Treatment for hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ear) now costs the VA health care system over $1 billion a year.

Timeline:

Verdicts and Settlements:

In January 2019, 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it sold defective earplugs to the Defense Logistics Agency. Though the case was resolved, all claims within the settlement were allegations only and there was no determination of liability, according to the Justice Department.

Medical Record Review and claim validation of 3M Earplugs case should take approximately 2 hours in most instances; however, this approximation may vary in cases based on the volume of records.

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