The 3M Company was tasked with providing hearing protection for the armed forces starting in the early 2000s. The earplug designed supposedly allowed soldiers to alter the device for more optimal hearing in different situations. However, after recent reports, 3M allegedly entered their contract with the federal government knowing the ear device was not 100% safe. Many veterans serving between 2003 and 2015 have reported hearing loss and being diagnosed with tinnitus, a condition which causes loud ringing in the ears.
More on Tinnitus
Tinnitus is the most common disability among military veterans. People who suffer from tinnitus describe it as a ringing or buzzing in the ears, a high-pitched whistle, and many other sounds. The sounds are often referred to as “phantom noises” since they are heard when there is no external sound present. For some, it comes and goes but for others, the sound seems permanent. A large percentage of people who experience tinnitus aren’t that affected, but still there are some who suffer from insomnia and a lack of focus and concentration due to the condition. There is no known cure to tinnitus, so treatment focuses on helping veterans cope with living with the condition.
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There are possibly over 10,000 people who have been affected by hearing loss because of the 3M Combat Arms Earplugs. The lawsuit, which is a mass tort (not a class action lawsuit), is in the beginning stages and those who have been affected can still file a claim to be a part of the lawsuit. Those who served our country during this period should have been given the proper protective equipment and now deserve the proper VA benefits. If you or someone you know served in the armed forces between 2003 and 2015, and has experienced symptoms of hearing loss, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney today.