Combat veteran and personal injury attorney, Andrew J. Cobos, battles the 3M Company for US Military veterans who have been impacted by 3M's defective Combat Arms(TM) earplugs.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the basis for this lawsuit against the 3M Company?
In the early 2000’s, the 3M Company entered into a contract with the federal government to provide hearing protection throughout the armed forces. 3M designed a dual-sided earplug (pictured below) which would allow the soldier to alter the device to allow for more optimal hearing in different settings. 3M allegedly knew that the device was defective. Without providing too much in the way of technical information, the stem on the device was too short for proper insertion into users’ ears and the earplugs could loosen imperceptibly and therefore did not perform well. Despite knowing that the earplugs would malfunction, the 3M company did not disclose the design defect to the military or to soldiers who relied on such devices. You can read more details on the case and recent lawsuits regarding this issue HERE. Or watch the video below for an overview about the case.
Am I eligible to be a Plaintiff in this lawsuit?
Yes, if you used the 3M dual-sided hearing protection and now have tinnitus or hearing loss. You can find out if you qualify instantly HERE .
I am active duty. Does that disqualify me?
No, but you should ensure that your hearing loss and/or tinnitus is documented in your medical records.
I claimed tinnitus on my VA form but received a 0% rating. Does this disqualify me?
No. The VA has certain thresholds that must be met before approving a 10% rating. You may still be affected by tinnitus and hearing loss even if the VA did not initially approve your claim.
What is the likelihood that this civil lawsuit will be successful?
Our opinion is that this lawsuit is likely to be very successful (i.e. soldiers receiving compensation for their injuries), but it is difficult to tell. There are many factors that must be evaluated before such a determination can be made, including where the lawsuit is brought, facts discovered during the discovery portion of the lawsuit, and the degree to which the individual veteran is harmed.
Is this a class action lawsuit?
No. It is a mass tort. Although there are some similarities between a mass tort and a class-action (including the number of Plaintiffs asserting claims), these two types of lawsuits are fundamentally different. In this action against 3M, the various Plaintiffs will maintain individual claims (as opposed to a class claim with a class representative). You will be able to determine whether you want to settle your individual suit or try the case.
Tell me more about the False Claims Act case involving 3M.
The False Claims Act imposes liability on companies (typically federal contractors) who defraud governmental programs. It is the federal Government’s primary litigation tool in combating fraud against the Government. Earlier this year 3M reached a settlement for allegations that 3M violated the False Claims Act by selling or causing to be sold defective earplugs to the Defense Logistics Agency. Specifically, the United States alleged that 3M, and its predecessor, Aearo Technologies, Inc., knew the CAEv2 was too short for proper insertion into users’ ears and that the earplugs could loosen imperceptibly and therefore did not perform well for certain individuals. The United States further alleged that 3M did not disclose this design defect to the military. 3M paid the government based on such allegations.
How do I sign up?
You can sign up right through our site by answering some basic but critical questions via a very brief questionnaire. If you are a strong candidate for this case, you will have the opportunity to complete the signup process directly online. You can complete that entire process in less than 2 minutes HERE .
After you sign up with our firm, we will ask you to gather any documents showing hearing loss or tinnitus as well as documents regarding your service dates. If you don’t have such hearing loss / tinnitus documents, we will set up an appointment for you at an audiologist.
Can I tell my friends / soldiers who may be affected?
Absolutely. We encourage you to forward our information to any Veteran whom you think this may impact.