Hundreds of veterans have been filing lawsuits against Minnesota-based 3M Company for manufacturing and selling defective combat earplugs to the military. The lawsuits, filed under the False Claims Act pointed that a government contractor showed negligence while sealing the earplugs tightly which resulted in the slipping of dangerous loud sounds through the earplugs.
The lawsuits filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, Waco Division, assert that Minnesota-based 3M Company designed the earplugs in a defective manner and didn’t warn users about the defect. Because of this, military men serving from 2003 to 2015 suffered from hearing loss, tinnitus, and loss of balance for using 3M’s trademarked, dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs. In order to teach the company a lesson, hundreds of veterans have filed lawsuits against it.
The attorneys of the two Houston-based law firms have said that the motive of filing the lawsuits is to hold 3 M accountable. Post the confirmation of supplying the defective earplugs, 3M agreed to pay $9.1 million in order to resolve allegations of selling defective earplugs to the Defense Logistics Agency.
According to the lawsuits, 3M manufacturers were aware of the defects in earplugs since 2000 and still, they sold their defective Combat Arms earplugs to the US military. Despite the confirmation of defects in the earplugs by 3M during testing, the company falsely stated in a certificate that the testing satisfied the military standards. Post the allegations, doctors started recommending Sonus Complete for tinnitus to the veterans for the issues they face.
One of the attorneys, Andrew Cobos asserted that because of the negligence of the combat earplugs manufacturer company, the US service members developed lifelong injuries by using the defective equipment in combat.