Veterans with Hearing Loss from Defective 3M Earplugs: Fact Sheet

3M, the manufacturer of earplugs, is alleged to have sold defective earplugs to the military. As a result of these defective earplugs, members of the military who used them may experience damage to their hearing.

The issue was exposed when a whistleblower notified the U.S. government that 3M’s predecessor company, Aero Technologies, knew there was a design defect in the CAEv2 earplugs that it sold to the supplier of equipment the U.S. military. After being sued by a third party representing the federal government, 3M admitted that Aero’s testing showed that the earplugs provided no noise reduction benefit.

What type of earplugs were defective?

Standard issue 3M Company (3M) a/k/a Aero Technologies earplugs were defective. These were Dual-ended 3M CAEv2 combat earplugs.

What was the time period were the defective earplugs use?

Between 2013 and 2015

Who was affected?

Any member of the military who served from 2013 to 2015. This includes members of the military who served in Iraq and Afghanistan during that period.

What was defective about the earplugs?

The earplugs were supposed to be designed to block sound. However, the design used allowed them to loosen when inserted inside the ear. This loosening allowed sound to penetrate around the earplug and into the inner ear, where it caused damage.

How do I prove I used 3M earplugs?

The easiest way is if you have your own evidence such as pictures of you using the earplugs or having them in your possession. Written statements from other veterans that you served with are also useful. Although these forms of evidence are helpful, they may not necessarily be required to prove that you used them. Thousands of these earplugs were used throughout the military.

Can I get compensation?

If you used these defective earplugs and suffered hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), or any other health issue caused by the defective earplugs, you may be entitled to compensation as part of an lawsuit against 3M. You may be able to get this compensation by joining one of many class action lawsuit against 3M around the country.

Can I get compensation from 3M even if I’m already service connected?

Yes. Even if you are service connected for hearing loss, tinnitus, or some other related health problems that were caused by the defective earplugs, you can still receive compensation from 3M without it affecting your service-connected disability benefits.

ear plugs

How much will it cost me?

You don’t pay anything unless your lawsuit against 3M is successful. If successful, the advocate fee is a minority percentage of the amount of money that you receive.

What should I do if I was affected by the defective earplugs?

Veterans Help Group has been helping veterans for decades. We have helped thousands of veterans get benefits for hearing loss and tinnitus so we are very familiar with these medical conditions. Contact our office for a free consultation at 855-855-8992.

More Articles

What Causes PTSD to be Triggered in Veterans?

In the past 15 years, the estimated number of veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD currently numbers more than 500,000. As many as 60,000 of these veterans are Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Estimates show more than 20% to 30% of veterans...

Federal Court Addresses PTSD Stressors

A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit confirms that VA must apply a generous standard when evaluating the lay testimony of veterans suffering from PTSD concerning their combat experiences and PTSD stressors. Sanchez-Navarro v....

Permanent and Total VA Disability Ratings for PTSD

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Symptoms of PTSD usually begin within three months of the...

Depression And Your VA Claim

Depression can negatively affect every aspect of your life: how you feel, think, sleep, function, and interact with others. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health Issues, about 14% of veterans suffer from depression. Depression is one of the most common...


  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.