3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation
In re 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation
United States District Court, Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Division
Case No. 3:19-md-2885
If you served in the U.S. military between 2003-2015 and have hearing loss, tinnitus, or related medical issues that you believe are the result of using 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs, please contact attorney Mark Samson at email@example.com or (800) 776-6044 to discuss your potential claims.
On July 26, 2018, the United States Department of Justice announced the 3M Company had agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) to the United States military without disclosing a defect that hampered the effectiveness of the plugs protecting the user’s hearing. You may review the Department of Justice announcement in the Case Documents section below.
The CAEv2 earplugs were designed (and color coded) to provide two different options for hearing protection depending upon which end was inserted into the ear canal. The green end acted as a traditional earplug and was to block out as much sound as possible. The yellow end was to reduce loud impulse sounds (like small arms fire, artillery and explosions), but to let the user hear low level sounds such as verbal commands. CAEv2 earplugs were sold to the military from 2003 to 2015 and were often standard issue in certain branches of the military. They have since been discontinued.
The allegations are that the CAEv2 contained a design flaw that prevented the earplugs from fitting snugly into the ear canal. As a result of this alleged defect, the users were exposed to dangerous levels of noise during training and combat operations. Military veterans say they’ve experienced permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, and other hearing-related issues because of this defective product.
On April 3, 2019, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a Transfer Order, consolidating the CAEv2 cases in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Division. The consolidated litigation is proceeding before Judge M. Casey Rodgers and Magistrate Judge Gary R. Jones for all pretrial activities. It is titled In Re: 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation.
At this time, the litigation has entered discovery, which is anticipated to last well into 2020. In late February 2020, the Court in Florida began to select bellwether cases for trial that are to begin in April 2021.