Members of the armed forces often find themselves in situations that expose them to hearing loss and other similar problems. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for service members to wear earplugs.

These earplugs are supposed to protect them. Unfortunately, they don’t always work as intended, especially if they are defective.

Hopefully, you have not developed hearing loss or tinnitus as a result of using defective earplugs during your time in the armed forces. However, if you have, it’s important that you be aware of your potential legal options. You might be eligible for compensation for your medical bills and other losses.

What You Need to Know About Defective Earplugs Lawsuits

Companies have a responsibility to design and manufacture products that are free of defects that could harm consumers. When a company distributes a defective product, injured consumers may have legal rights against the company. Often, injury victims can file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor of the defective product.

3M makes and sells the earplugs most commonly used by members of all four branches of the U.S. military. Thousands of veterans and service members have suffered hearing loss as a result of 3M’s earplugs. Many of these service members have filed lawsuits against 3M.

Some of these cases have already gone to trial. The jury has frequently ruled in favor of the plaintiffs/service members. For example, a jury recently awarded $22.5 million in damages to a plaintiff who argued that 3M’s negligence caused them to suffer hearing loss and tinnitus. The jury justified the high payout because it determined that 3M had engaged in fraud.

Specifically, the jury stated that 3M had knowingly hid design flaws from customers and deceptively adjusted the numbers to conceal the fact that their earplugs could be ineffective. The company also failed to provide adequate instructions regarding how to use the earplugs.

This case is not unique. Just a month prior, a plaintiff was awarded approximately $13 million in another 3M earplugs case. However, it’s important to know that not all cases against 3M have been successful. These are complex cases that require extensive investigation and evidence. 

3M has access to the resources of a large company, and it can leverage those resources to make the lawsuits difficult. Additionally, these cases often require extensive medical records and other evidence to prove that 3M’s conduct caused hearing loss or another such condition.

How a Product Liability Lawyer Can Help Your Claim

There are many ways in which a skilled attorney can help you seek compensation after a 3M earplugs injury. Examples include the following:

  • Reviewing your case for free to determine if you should file a claim or lawsuit
  • Drafting the claim, submitting it, and handling all other administrative tasks so you can focus on your own needs
  • Gathering important evidence
  • Handling all correspondence with the insurance company
  • Negotiating with adjusters for a fair settlement and filing a lawsuit if they won’t offer one

You can’t expect to go up against a major corporation like 3M alone and win. Product liability cases require specific types of evidence. You have to show that 3M’s earplugs suffered from a manufacturing defect, design defect, or marketing defect to hold them strictly liable for your injuries. If you cannot provide evidence of one of these defects, you can still attempt to show they acted negligently and caused your injuries.

Both types of defective product claims will require expert testimony and aggressive investigation and litigation. A product liability lawyer may be the only way for you to recover the compensation you deserve after a 3M earplug injury.