You may know why you are suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus after being in the military. The newspapers, various research studies, and even a government lawsuit may tell you what caused your hearing injury.
Despite the dangerous work you did and the loud noises you were exposed to, your injury could have been avoided.
However, as is the case with all lawsuits, you are going to need evidence about the cause and extent of your injury before you can settle your claim or resolve your case in court.
Could You Have a Case Against 3M?
Hearing-related injuries are the most common type of disability reported among American Veterans. Many of these injuries are caused by loud noise exposure that comes with military service. Any service member who can prove that hearing loss or tinnitus is connected to military service may be eligible for Veterans’ disability benefits. However, some service members may be able to recover much more in damages.
The military tries to protect servicemembers from hearing loss and tinnitus by providing protective earplugs. From 2003 to 2015, the U.S. military routinely provided servicemembers with 3M Dual-ended Combat Arms™ earplugs. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that the design of Dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs was defective, that 3M knew about the defect, and that 3M failed to warn the government and you about the risks.
Good Evidence in Defective 3M Military Earplug Cases
Before you can recover damages, you need to prove that defective 3M military-issued earplugs caused your hearing loss or tinnitus. To do that, you may need evidence such as:
- Military records. Your military record will show where and when you served. This information will allow your attorney to find out whether Dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs were issued to you and when you might have used them. Your military records will also allow your lawyer to research what kinds of loud noises you may have been exposed to and how often that exposure happened.
- 3M and Aearo Technologies own records of Dual-ended Combat Arms earplug design, manufacturing, and warning. 3M purchased Aearo Technologies in 2008. Therefore, records from both companies about how the earplugs were designed, whether they were manufactured according to the design, and whether any warnings were provided to the government are relevant to whether the earplugs you wore were defective.
- Medical records. Your own healthcare records, both from military healthcare providers and any private healthcare providers you may see, are relevant to your injury claim. Your medical records will show when you first began experiencing symptoms of hearing loss or tinnitus, how your injury has progressed, what treatment you’ve tried, and your prognosis.
- Witness testimony. Personal witnesses and, in some cases, expert witnesses may be able to show the impact your hearing injury has had on your life. This testimony could be relevant to your damage award.
Talk to a Lawyer Before Pursuing a 3M Military Earplug Lawsuit
Maybe you have all of the evidence we describe above and you feel that you are ready to move forward, or perhaps you don’t. Either way, before you let 3M know that you are pursuing a claim, it is important to schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer.
When you work with Hupy and Abraham, our lawyers will:
- Gather all of the relevant evidence
- Analyze the evidence
- Make convincing arguments based on evidence
- Protect your legal rights
- Handle all negotiations, court filings, and legal proceedings
- Fight hard for your full recovery of damages
And, we will not be paid unless your case is successful and you end up with a financial recovery.
You don’t give up the right to sue a company that provided you with a defective product just because you are a member of the U.S. military. You have the same right as every American to protect your legal recovery.
Call us today to schedule your free, no-obligation with our experienced attorneys. We welcome you to any of our Midwest offices, including our Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, and Davenport, Iowa offices, or we will be happy to come to you.