The Doan Law Firm Now Accepting “3M” Ear Plug Hearing Loss Lawsuits
If you’ve watched late-night television for more than an hour over the past six months, you’ve probably seen the one-minute ads informing military veterans that their hearing loss and/or tinnitus (“ringing in the ears”) may be due to defective ear plugs made by the industrial giant 3M Corporation and distributed to our service members during the years 2002-2015. Given the sheer numbers of veterans and current active duty personnel affected, this could represent one of the largest groups to have been injured by a product that was known to be defective when it was distributed!
At The Doan Law Firm, we are appalled that our service members were expected to risk their health (and lives ) in service to our country yet were issued improperly-designed and manufactured hearing protection. This is why we are now accepting clients who have suffered hearing problems from injuries that occurred while using such defective earplugs.
Beginning in 2002, the Department of Defense granted Aearo Technologies an exclusive contract to supply all branches of the armed services with a hearing protection device identified as the Combat Arms Earplug, Version 2 (CAEv2), even though Aearo Technologies was aware that the earplugs were manufactured with a serious design flaw: they were too short to properly fit into the ear canal and were thus largely ineffective in protecting users from damage due to repeated exposure to loud noises such as artillery fire and explosions. When 3M purchased Aearo Technologies in 2009, it continued producing the CAEv2 product until 2015 even though it was aware that the design was flawed.
Symptoms related to hearing damage
The CAEv2 was supposed to protect the wearer from the effects of repeated exposure to high-decibel (“loud”), relatively low-frequency (“rumbling”) noises. As a combat veteran, you already know this describes the sounds of artillery fire and exploding munitions! But do you know the symptoms that suggest you might have suffered permanent hearing damage?
According to audiologists (specialists who evaluate and treat hearing loss) and other medical professionals, hearing loss among members of the military usually is the result of repeated trauma to the ear drum and, indirectly, to the small structures of the middle ear. Symptoms of damage to these structures include:
Although most people consider “deafness” to be the total loss of hearing in either one or both ears, deafness is often partial and may affect your ability to hear certain frequencies more than others.
The major symptom of partial deafness is a “general” loss of hearing, making it difficult to hear all sounds. This is particularly noticeable when “background noise” is present. Most victims of partial hearing loss will learn to compensate by simply increasing the volume on their televisions or radios, while others will change the position of their heads to improve the angle that sound waves strike their outer ears. In more severe cases, an external hearing aid may be necessary if the victim is to enjoy the same lifestyle as that prior to the onset of deafness.
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is the medical term used to describe hearing a high frequency sound in the absence of an external source for that sound. In most military service-related cases, tinnitus is due to scar tissue that forms after repeated exposure to loud noise. Like deafness, tinnitus can affect one ear or both ears. Unlike deafness, hearing aids are usually not effective.
Although less common than “pure” hearing loss or tinnitus, some veterans have reported episodes of vertigo that developed at about the same time as their hearing loss. In such cases, the “type” of vertigo experienced may be helpful in establishing a diagnosis of hearing loss due to defective ear plugs.
In “classic” vertigo, the victim often reports that they feel like they are “spinning” while the room around them is standing still. In some cases of hearing loss involving veterans, the veteran will complain that they are “sitting still” while it is the room that is spinning. The latter type of vertigo should be carefully evaluated by an audiologist or other qualified medical professional.
How The Doan Law Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve
If you served in combat zone with our armed forces during the years from 2002 to 2015 and are experiencing problems related to loss of hearing, we invite you to contact The Doan Law Firm to arrange a free, no obligation, review of the facts in your case and a review of the legal options that may be available to help you receive a full and fair compensation for your injuries.
As a national law practice with offices located throughout the country, we are already in a position to assist our veterans no matter where they live or may currently be stationed. If you need assistance in securing all your medical and/or service records, our staff will be glad to obtain all that we need in order to aggressively represent you in court or before a disability board.
You need not suffer alone! Contact us today to begin your fight for compensation for your injury!