Hearing Loss in Veterans: 3M Earplug Lawsuits

If you were in the military anytime between 2003 and 2015 and have been diagnosed with service-related tinnitus or hearing loss, your military-issued 3M ear plugs could be to blame. Manufacturer 3M allegedly sold defective Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs (Version 2) to the U.S. military. The claim is that the earplugs are made of a material that does not provide the promised reduction in noise levels and that they are too short for effective noise blocking.

Lawsuits began in 2018, with the company arguing that when properly used, the earplugs are effective. They contend that the earplugs are not to blame for hearing damage. The win-loss record is split, with service members and veterans winning 12 cases and losing six. However, it is still very early in the process, with nearly 300,000 lawsuits having been filed.

Here we will cover what veterans need to know about the impact of these faulty earplugs, and what you should know about pursuing legal action.