Veterans are filing lawsuits against Minnesota-based company 3M. And now, they may reach class action status.
These veterans suffered hearing loss and tinnitus thanks to 3M earplugs, they allege. And according to their attorneys, the earplugs caused permanent hearing problems instead of helping to prevent them.
Veterans and active duty members are fighting the company following a federal whistleblower lawsuit that stated the firm did not test the earplugs correctly. The flawed assessment, government officials argued, did not stop 3M as it continued to claim the items would not protect soldiers’ hearing despite knowing the earplugs were too short. Because the items became loose easily, soldiers were still exposed to loud
noises without realizing that was the case.
Because of the battlefield explosions, many of these men and women now have chronic hearing problems and tinnitus.
In July 2018, veterans filed the first lawsuits. The company settled, agreeing to pay $9.1 million to the U.S. government.
Now, other victims are filing class action lawsuits, as the company allegedly knew about the earplugs’ defects as early as 2000. And according to attorneys, that was long before the firm became the military’s exclusive earplug provider.
When reporters asked 3M for comment, the firm said it continues to dedicate itself to keeping the men and women of the U.S. military safe. However, the firm did not offer any specific comments regarding the lawsuits.
According to lawyers with information on these lawsuits, there could be over 100,000 veterans and active duty members of the military joining the class action lawsuit. Right now, the attorney in question is representing 6,500 plaintiffs.
Attorneys say that this issue is clearly about fraudulent testing. They add that victims suffered great hearing damage due to the high levels of noise to which they were exposed. They also stated, the firm could have prevented this outcome.
To many veterans who are now suffering the consequences, the fact they are having health issues shows that certain companies are negligent even when caring for people sacrificing for the country. In order to hold the firm accountable, these veterans are not going to stay silent.
For more on these lawsuits, follow this link.