3m defective earplugs

3M Earplug Litigation Passes New Milestone of First Bellwether Trial

Updated April 20, 2021.

Lacy Katzen LLP is no longer accepting new referrals in the 3M Combat Ear Plugs Litigation

The first bellwether trial was scheduled to begin on March 29, 2021, in the 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Multi District Liability Litigation (MDL). This is a consolidated trial involving three separate cases. The three Plaintiffs allege that 3M Company’s dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs were defective causing the plaintiffs to develop hearing loss and tinnitus.
The cases will be carefully watched by Veterans and current military service members who may also be entitled to compensation for hearing loss and tinnitus caused by defective earplugs. The Combat Arms Earplugs were manufactured and sold by 3M to all 4 branches of the U.S. military. The allegedly defective earplugs may have caused thousands, if not millions, of our soldiers to suffer hearing loss and tinnitus.

Tinnitus is when you experience ringing, buzzing, clicking, humming or other noises in one or both of your ears. Noises associated with tinnitus may vary in pitch from a low roar to a high squeal. In some cases, the noise can be so loud that it interferes with your ability to concentrate. Tinnitus may be present all of the time or can be intermittent. It is often worse at night and can interfere with sleep, exacerbating other health conditions. It often has negative impacts on mental health issues which may already be fragile due to combat related PTSD.

The significance of this MDL is massive. It has accumulated more than 200,000 actions since 2018, surpassing the 1991 asbestos litigation as the largest MDL in U.S. history.  ANALYSIS: 3M Combat Arms MDL Passes Asbestos as Largest Ever (bloomberglaw.com) Claimants allege that the Combat Arms Earplugs left users entirely unprotected from damaging high-level sounds. Typical claimants are veterans between the ages of 30 and 50 who served in the military in either active combat or in training missions involving exposure to loud noises.

From 2003 to 2015, the 3M earplugs were standard issue equipment intended to protect the hearing of military service members. 3M had an exclusive contract to supply the earplugs to the U.S. military through the Department of Defense. Claimants contend that the earplugs were defective and actually did nothing to protect soldiers from significant hearing loss and damage. Records released to the public in the MDL class action revealed that the earplugs cost just 85 cents to make but were sold to the military for $7.63 netting a huge profit for the manufacturer.

We are currently reviewing 3M claims that meet the following criteria:

  1. You served in the military between 2003 to 2015.
  2. You wore military issued earplugs during service.
  3. You were exposed to loud sound during military service.
  4. You have been diagnosed with hearing loss/tinnitus.

Lacy Katzen LLP was founded in 1950 by two World War II veterans and young attorneys: Herb Lacy and Leon Katzen. We have proudly served the legal needs of members of our military and their families for over 70 years. Please contact us.

If you have any questions, please contact Jacqueline Thomas.


Read our latest news and blogs that discuss important legal issues.

driving car
How Does Speeding Lead to Car Accidents?
Read More
lady justice
What Qualities Should I Look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Read More
Pressure Sores
Are Bedsores in Nursing Homes a Sign of Neglect?
Read More

Get in touch

Please do not provide any sensitive information (i.e. bank account information or social security number).

Accessibility Toolbar