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How To Handle A 3m Earplug Lawsuit From Start To Finish

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Since its inception, there has been a lot of chatter about the 3M Earplug Lawsuit in the news and media space. If you are here, researching on how to handle a 3M earplug lawsuit, chances are you are already aware of the specifics to some extent.

Between the years of 2002-2015, thousands of American military personnel and civilians were deployed with 3M ear plugs as part of their protective gear. Out of these millions of veterans, thousands have later developed tinnitus, hearing loss either partial or complete and loss of balance.

If you are someone affected by this injustice or know of someone who is, read further for a guide on how to handle a 3M earplug lawsuit.

What Is The 3m Earplug Lawsuit?

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Millions of American military men and women were sent overseas between the years 2002-2015. Sets of 3M dual-ended combat arms earplugs as personal protection gear. The dual-ended design was supposed to provide dual-levels of function and protection.

There were allegations against the American multinational conglomerate that their dual-ended 3M earplugs are of substandard quality.

Owing to the sub-quality earplugs, there have been cases of veterans suffering from tinnitus and hearing loss. These allegations are what commenced the much talked about 3M Earplug Lawsuit.

The accusation against 3M is of designing a product of poor performance and failing to educate the wearer against potential risks. The lawsuit claims that the earplug stems were not long enough to fit comfortably in the ear canal of the wearer thus loosening it while in training or combat. This defect in product design caused hearing issues for thousands of veterans.

What To Do If You Want To File For The 3M Earplug Lawsuit?

If you are a veteran or a civilian who was on active duty and deployed overseas during the timeline of 2002-2015, you may be eligible to file litigation.

● Consult a licensed medical professional

The first thing you should do is find out if you have tinnitus or partial or total hearing loss by a licensed professional. This will be the basis for your claim. Ensure that the hearing loss or tinnitus you are experiencing is not from a pre-existing condition and is caused by exposure to loud sounds while serving in the military.

● Check if you used the 3M defective earplugs

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After the process of getting medically checked out, you should be aware if you were among the veterans to whom the 3M earplugs were issued. We have compiled a list of possible wars these earplugs were used in.

  • The Iraq War
  • War in Afghanistan
  • War in North-West Pakistan (part of War on Terror)
  • War in Somalia
  • Operation Ocean Shield in the Indian Ocean
  • American-led intervention in Libya (2011- part of Libyan Crisis)
  • American-led intervention in Iraq (2014 – 2017)
  • American-led intervention in Syria (2014 to present)
  • Yemeni Civil War (2015 to present)
  • American Intervention in Libya (2015 to present.

● Documentation is key

Take down as many notes as you can. Write down any details you can remember. Keep in mind that every little detail will help you.

Try and remember when your hearing issues started and how long it has been going on. See if the symptoms are getting progressively better or worse. Keep track of your doctor’s notes and medical records.

The following documents might also be necessary if you are planning to file a claim.

  • Certificate of release or discharge from active duty.
  • DD214 certificate
  • VA record
  • Military active duty record
  • Medical records

● Get an Attorney

To receive just and fair compensation from the 3M lawsuit, you will have to find and talk to an attorney. In most cases related to faulty products, a product liability attorney will handle your case.

Since there are thousands of cases, a Multi-District Litigation is implemented which combines all the cases under one. From these culminated cases, plaintiffs are selected randomly.

If you are experiencing hearing loss or difficulties related to the 3M earplugs and are still hesitant to file a claim, it is high time you do so. If you have been following the trials closely, the verdicts of the jurors have been in favor of the plaintiffs most of the time.

The possibility of a fair settlement is a close reality now, it might be wise if you are affected by the dual-sided earplugs.

Things To Keep In Mind Before Filing A Claim

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● Duty status of the plaintiff and eligibility to claim

The current status of your military duty does not affect the outcome of your trials. If you are a retired military personnel or on active duty, if you have a legitimate claim, you should contact your attorney as soon as possible.

● When to file a suit after onset of symptoms

No matter how long or how short it has been after you used the 3M earplugs which caused your health issues, they are of no consequence in the trial.

However, it is noteworthy that there has been a verdict for the defendant owing to the fact that the plaintiff filed only after 10 years of the onset of symptoms. Hence you must make haste if you are planning to file a claim.

● VA disability benefits and eligibility to claim

If you are a military person receiving disability benefits from the government, filing a claim in the 3M lawsuit does not affect that status.

Hence disability benefits are given to veterans depending on the injury they sustained and not based on financial status, there is nothing to be worried about. This is a common misconception that deters a lot of affected veterans from filing a claim.

Conclusion

Military personnel deserve the best care the state has to offer. There is no argument over that. Since members of the military have little to no say over the kind of protective gear they use while training or in combat, it is unfortunate that our veterans had to face such dire consequences for which they are not at fault.

But one thing to always keep in mind is that the lawsuit is not against the US government but rather directed at the multinational conglomerate that failed to disclose crucial information regarding the safety of the earplugs.

If you are a former military person or on active duty and think you might have a claim to file, feel free to contact us.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com

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