Legal Funding for Plaintiffs in 3M Military Earplugs Lawsuits

Staff Writer | March 12th, 2019

In the last several months, lawsuits alleging product liability have been filed in Federal court alleging that a standard-issue U.S. military earplug, the Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2), caused hearing loss and tinnitus in service members it was issued to. The earplugs, which were issued in the 2003-2015 period, were made by Minneapolis-based 3M.

In mid 2018, 3M agreed to pay more than $9 million to resolve claims it had sold the earplugs knowing they were defective.

Product Causing Hearing Loss, Tinnitus

By mid February, more than 200 cases alleging hearing loss as a result of the ear plugs had been filed in multiple Federal courts. Attorneys expect thousands more.

The lawsuits are similar in fact and law. All allege that problems in the design of the earplugs left veterans with hearing damage. The lawsuits allege that the manufacturer knew of the issues for years, but did nothing to address them. The earplugs are allegedly too short to effectively seal the ear canal.

Possibility of Centralization To Be Determined in March

As a result of the similarity of the cases, later in March a panel composed of Federal judges will determine the appropriateness of centralizing the litigation before a single judge.

According to allegations raised in the lawsuits, the manufacturers knew for years that the earplugs were defective, and too short to properly fit in the ear. As a result, military service members were allegedly left without adequate hearing protection, after the earplugs failed to seal the ear canal.

How Legal Funding Can Help

If you are a plaintiff in one of these suits, or expect to be one in the future, you may receive damages for your hearing loss, including medical bills, lost wages, retraining, and so forth.

But all court cases can take time. A lawsuit can take years to go through the legal system before a settlement or verdict is reached.

If you and your family members have been hurt economically as a result of hearing loss or tinnitus, you may have trouble keeping up with bills and other financial necessities during the legal process. That’s where legal funding can help. A legal loan gives you financial support while your case is going through the court system.

Legal loans are not the same as bank or credit union loans. They are more akin to cash advances. They are like receiving a personal loan, and are known as “nonrecourse” loans.

If the case is settled in favor of the plaintiffs (you), you will have to pay back the amount of the legal loan you received, at a reasonable rate of interest.

If it is not settled in your favor, but in the defendant’s favor, you don’t owe anything. Not even a dime.

Legal loans can be used for whatever financial need you have, including housing (mortgage or rent payments), groceries, medical bills, health insurance, costs to commute to work, and more.

A legal loan gives you important financial security. Without it, you may feel like you need to settle if the defendant makes a low-ball offer. Initial offers might be less than you deserve.

Pre-settlement legal funding is quick and convenient to obtain. Get approved within 24 hours. There is no required credit check. No hidden costs are charged, and we give you the lowest interest rates in the industry. Call today to learn more!

Additional Resources:

  1. DePass, Dee. 3M settles defective combat earplug case for $9.1 million. StarTribune. July 27, 2018. http://www.startribune.com/3m-settles-defective-combat-earplug-case-with-for-9-1-million/489359181/.
  2. U.S. Department of Justice. 3M Company Agrees to Pay $9.1 Million to Resolve Allegations That it Supplied the United States With Defective Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs. July 26, 2018. http://www.startribune.com/3m-settles-defective-combat-earplug-case-with-for-9-1-million/489359181/.