Serving in the United States military is a noble pursuit that comes with many risks. While people who willingly enlist understand that they may suffer wounds or injuries related to combat, they trust that the safety equipment that they use will keep them safe.
Unfortunately, this has not always been the case. A prominent example of military issue equipment failing to perform its stated duty is the case of 3M earplugs. Hundreds of thousands of service members received these products while on duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it is now known that design flaws in these earplugs left their users vulnerable to hearing damage.
A Colorado Springs 3M hearing loss lawyer may be able to help you to pursue claims for damages related to your hearing loss. An experienced attorney could work to show use of these earplugs negatively affected your current health and demand appropriate compensation.
Proper hearing protection is vital to service in the military. Many of the roles that soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines perform expose them to loud, potentially damaging noises. As a result, the military issued 3M model Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2.
Unfortunately, recent lawsuits have alleged that these earplugs are defective, and provide inadequate ear protection for soldiers. This resulted in a variety of hearing problems, ranging in severity from a ringing in the ears known as tinnitus, to ruptured eardrums, to total hearing loss.
Because 3M did not provide a product that functioned as intended, 3M may be liable for these damages. However, pursuing a claim based on defective products in Colorado Springs can be a complex legal undertaking. A Colorado Springs 3M hearing loss attorney could provide more information about the background on 3M earplugs and hearing loss.
People who have suffered injuries because of the defective nature of 3M earplugs have two potential paths to recovery. The first is to take their case directly to a Colorado Springs civil court.
State laws say that manufacturers of all products have the duty to create items that serve their function. If these products do not serve this function, and a customer suffers an injury, that maker may be liable. Specifically, in 3M earplug claims, plaintiffs must prove that a design defect caused the product to be unsafe and that this defect led to their injuries.
The second potential source of compensation is to pursue a claim as a mass tort. Because so many former servicemembers endured injuries because of defective earplugs, they have the option of joining their cases together into a single lawsuit.
Indeed, Federal Rule of Civil Procedures 23 states that plaintiffs who suffer injuries because of a single act on the part of a common defendant may join a mass tort to pool their resources, share evidence, and pursue their claims under a single lawsuit or settlement claim. A 3M hearing loss lawyer in Colorado Springs could evaluate a person’s legal options and help them choose a path to recovery that best suits their needs.
It is an unfortunate fact that thousands of servicemembers returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan now suffer from hearing loss, in many cases due specifically to defective 3M earplugs. While 3M has not yet admitted liability for these injuries, similar cases have resulted in settlements for significant compensation.
A Colorado Springs 3M hearing loss lawyer may be able to help you to pursue a claim for compensation against 3M, whether that entails alleging product liability in civil court or joining your claim with other plaintiffs into a mass tort that may bring a greater chance for success. Call today to discuss your case.