3M Earplugs Lawsuit

Instead of defending hearing, these defective earplugs caused widespread hearing damage

Quick Facts

  • Biggest Award: $9.1 Million to settle False Claims case with US Government
  • Number of Cases: More than 139,693 claimants as of March 2020
  • Earplug Introduction Date: 2003
  • Intended Use: Hearing protection against loud and high-pitched noises from combat arms
  • Side-Effects: Hearing Loss & Tinnitus

What You Need to Know

What Is The 3M Case All About: 3M dual-sided combat arms earplugs (CAEv2) were distributed to US armed servicemen and servicewomen. However, these combat earplugs have a serious defect proven to cause hearing injuries. People who wore them are entitled to justice and compensation for their injuries.

Who Was Impacted By 3M: Hearing damage victims that served in the US armed forces and wore these dual-sided 3M earplugs are entitled to fight back against 3M for injuries suffered while using this defective product. 

When Were These Earplugs Distributed: Injured servicemembers and veterans who served between the years 2003-2015 and suffer from resulting hearing damage after wearing 3M combat earplugs are potentially eligible for compensation.

Why These Earplugs Were Defective: These combat earplugs were designed to be dual-sided, allowing servicemembers to quickly change sides depending on noise conditions. However, 3M’s combat earplugs are proven to be a defective product, entitling affected servicemembers and veterans to take action against the company and exercise their rights.

How To Fight Back Against 3M: To see if you or a loved one qualify to fight against the injustice of hearing loss and damage due to 3M’s defective earplugs, start by taking a free evaluation to check eligibility for compensation.

3M Combat Earplugs Lawsuit

What Happened Exactly?

Defective 3M combat earplugs were designed to prevent hearing damage amongst US Armed Forces members who were regularly subjected to noisy conditions in both training and combat conditions. However, the product itself had fitting problems. Because the earplugs were too short to fill the ear canal properly, there wasn’t a proper seal. To work effectively, the earplugs need a 100% seal to block out the noise. 

Without a proper seal, or broken seal, users were exposed to hearing damage and loud noises that the earplugs were designed to prevent. The result was damage to the inner ear and sensitive hairs of affected servicemembers. Moreover, due to their defect, many users didn’t even realize they weren’t being properly protected at the time. These 3M earplugs not only failed to prevent hearing damage, but are responsible for hearing loss and painful tinnitus many servicemembers and veterans suffer from.

How Many People Are Affected By These Defective Earplugs?

There are potentially millions of US armed forces servicemembers and veterans that were negatively impacted by these defective combat earplugs. According to statistics compiled by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, hearing loss and tinnitus are amongst the most common injuries suffered by veterans. Per the statistics, more than 1.7 million veterans receive compensation for tinnitus while another 1.1 million veterans receive compensation for hearing loss.

All members of each branch of the military who served between 2003-2015 who used these earplugs were potentially exposed to damage, amounting to hundreds of thousands of potential injuries if not more. Right now, so many cases have been filed against 3M for hearing loss and damage, that Federal Courts have consolidated the 139,693 separate cases against the company for their wrongdoing. These cases are currently pending in a Federal Court in the Northern District of Florida.

How Have Affected Individuals Fought Back?

A whistleblower discovered that the company had intentionally hidden the defects, helping the US government to strike back at 3M for its misleading claims. 3M eventually settled with the US Government, and now many affected servicemembers and veterans are fighting the company for justice and compensation related to their injuries sustained while wearing these earplugs.

So many cases have been filed against 3M simultaneously that many have been combined to produce a settlement or judgement that will benefit over 100,000 current and former servicemembers. Moreover, many impacted individuals are currently building and pursuing legal action against 3M for both financial and non-financial damages that resulted from wearing these defective earplugs.

What Has Been The Biggest Victory Against 3M?

The biggest recorded victory yet was a settlement with the US Government for $9.1 million in compensation. This was after a whistleblower within 3M alerted the Federal Government to the defective nature of the earplugs. These defects were covered up years before 3M won a key exclusive contract to supply the US armed forces from 2003-2015.

The biggest case against 3M is now pending in a Federal Court in Florida and includes more than 139,653 individual cases against the company that have been combined. Although the outcome of this action is still unclear, all the impacted individuals are fighting the company for compensation for their injuries sustained while using the defective product.

How Can I Join The Lawsuit?

Take a free evaluation to determine eligibility for taking action. You or a loved one must meet the following criteria:
  1. Member of the US armed forces between 2003-2015
  2. Used the 3M combat arms earplugs during that period
  3. Suffering from hearing damage or injury resulting from use of combat earplugs
If eligible, gather and collect relevant paperwork including:
  1. Military discharge or service paperwork
  2. Healthcare and VA paperwork
  3. Any relevant testimony from peers and family members
Discuss the lawsuit potential with a team member
  1. Receive and review a contingency agreement to join a lawsuit
  2. If approved, sign the contingency agreement
  3. A specialized lawyer will help and guide you in the fight against 3M
There are no fees for starting the process and signing the contingency agreement. Fees will only be assessed in the event of a successful outcome from the lawsuit

Need Help?


Select Justice is an advocacy group made up of journalists, investigators and technology professionals committed to helping injured individuals seek justice. We believe that everyone is entitled to know their legal rights and how to use them.
We use our expertise to help people injured by dangerous & defective products, medical malpractice, and employer negligence understand and exercise their rights by discussing their situations and referring them to qualified law firms within our network.

No, Select Justice is not a law firm and is not qualified to give any legal advice.  We advocate for those individuals who have been harmed or injured by assisting them with understanding the cause of their situation, identifying who may be responsible, and helping them take steps to pursue justice against the wrongdoers.

We simplify the legal process for you and give you easy access to qualified lawyers who will help bring you justice and compensation. With our vast network we ensure that you are matched with an expert legal team suited specifically for your unique case needs.
If you or a loved one was harmed by 3M earplugs, please fill out a short questionnaire that helps us understand if you are qualified to pursue compensation against the wrongdoers. After qualifying, a Select Justice team member will call to collect some more detailed information.  Following a short conversation, the team member will be able to point you in the direction of follow up actions. You may be asked to provide specific details or more information and documentation related to your injury. If qualified, you will be referred to a capable legal team that can help you pursue justice.

Select Justice is an absolutely free service that does not charge any money to advocate for injured individuals. During no part of the process with Select Justice will users be required to provide any monetary compensation or payment to the company.

If you choose to take legal action with our recommended lawyers a contingency agreement will be sent to you to review and sign and you will then begin working with a lawyer who will be dedicated to your case and bringing you justice. There are no fees for starting the process and signing the contingency agreement. Fees will only be assessed in the event of a successful outcome from the claim.
We take matters of personal privacy very seriously. When you share you personal and private information with our team of professionals, we take many special measures to protect your privacy. We are HIPAA-compliant to ensure any medical records you share with us are secure. Additionally, we follow other best practices in the areas of information security to assure your information is safe from prying eyes.

You can email us at info@selecjustice.com to get in touch with a team member. We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.