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Defective Combat Earplugs


Combat Arms Earplugs made by 3M allegedly have a dangerous design that can cause them to loosen while being worn. This defect can allow dangerous sounds to enter the ear canal and cause hearing damage, one of the largest ongoing medical problems facing soldiers today. From the year 2003 until 2015, thousands of military members used 3M’s Combat Arms Earplugs possibly leading to hearing loss or tinnitus. The ear plugs were designed to block out loud noises and combat sounds such as explosions, however there was a major design flaw that was discovered by a whistleblower in 2018.

The design flaw caused the plugs to be too short. Due to this, the ear plugs could become loose in the ear, allowing sound in, and no longer protecting the military member’s ears. Because of this flaw, military personnel as well as veterans may be experiencing tinnitus or loss of hearing.

In 2018, 3M paid $9.1 million to resolve the Department of Defense allegations that the company sold dangerous and defective Combat Arms Earplugs to the military for more than a decade without warning they were defective. But the 3M company has yet to help the service members who may have suffered serious hearing damage when the earplugs they depended on loosened and exposed them to dangerous sound levels. If you were diagnosed with or are suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus after serving in the military and wearing defective earplugs, you might qualify for significant financial compensation.

Many service members were issued Combat Arms Earplugs by 3M while engaging in military duty. Unfortunately, many have possibly been exposed to ear damaging sound levels after fighting in the following:

  • War of Afghanistan
  • The Iraq War
  • 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)


If you used 3M Ear Plugs while serving in the military and were involved in combat during 2003 and 2015, and also have a diagnosis from a doctor of tinnitus at or around the time of discharge from the military and/or hearing loss resulting in an impairment rating with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, contact Chhabra & Gibbs, P.A. today. This lawsuit is not against the government or the armed services and does not affect disability benefits.  You worked hard to protect our country, and we are here to help you.


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