Military Hearing Loss & 3M Earplug Defect Lawsuit
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Military Hearing Loss & 3M Earplug Defect Lawsuit

Ohio Product Liability Lawyer and VA Disability Claims Attorney reviewing 3M defective earplug lawsuits and Military hearing loss for Veterans and plaintiffs nationwide


Most Americans connect PTSD and traumatic injuries to military service, but they often overlook the most common military service-related injury: hearing loss and tinnitus. Even though the military implemented a hearing conservation program decades ago, a recent report states that more than 60 percent of veterans return home with some degree of hearing loss. In the U.S., around 445,000 veterans receive compensation for hearing loss and 395,000 for tinnitus.

Noise-induced hearing loss is so common because soldiers and military personnel are constantly exposed to high noise levels. Even with ear protection, service members risk ear injury because a good amount of the noise experienced exceeds the maximum allowed even with double hearing protection. Also, thousands of military personnel were given defective 3M earplugs that failed to protect them.

Joe Lyon is an experienced Ohio product liability lawyer and VA disability claims attorney investigating defective 3M earplug cases and representing injured plaintiffs nationwide in Military hearing loss claims.


Military Hearing Loss & Veteran Ear Injury

Noise-induced hearing loss may be caused by chronic or acute noise exposure. Acute noises are quite common with gunfire and jet engines, and chronic exposure may be linked to spending time in engine rooms, on carrier decks or near gun ranges. Almost every soldier and veteran will be exposed to hazardous noise levels at some point in their military career.

Although double hearing protection (earmuffs and ear plugs) are encouraged in some situations, often this is impossible. Furthermore, defective earplugs were distributed from 2000-2018 and compromised soldiers and veterans. The U.S. Department of Defense published a medical surveillance report on noise-induced hearing loss and found noise-induced hearing injuries were more prevalent among combat-specific occupations than most other occupations.

defective military earplugs


Sources of Noise-Induced Military Hearing Loss

  • Weapons
  • Explosions
  • Aircraft—jets, helicopters and cargo planes
  • Ship engine rooms
  • Carrier Deck noise

Symptoms of Hearing Loss & Tinnitus

Noise exposure can induce several hearing symptoms such as temporary threshold shifts, tinnitus, hyperacusis, recruitment, distortion or abnormal pitch perception. Patients with tinnitus sometimes exhibit difficulty in listening to high frequency noises such as whistles or buzzers. Symptoms of military hearing loss may include:

  • Asking people to repeat themselves often
  • Difficulty following conversations
  • Intently watching speakers’ mouths
  • Turning head to the side to assist hearing
  • Being vague with volume levels
  • Talking too loudly
  • Speech deterioration

Military Hearing Loss Claims & 3M Earplug Defects

Until the 1970s very little hearing protection was provided by the military. The military is now aware of the risks of noise exposure and service members are provided with hearing protection. However, defective earplugs used by thousands of veterans may have led to permanent hearing loss and other ear injuries.

If you were exposed to high levels of auditory trauma during military service and have developed hearing loss or tinnitus, you may have a VA disability claim as well as an injury and product liability claim against 3M, the manufacturer of defective earplugs. A recent hearing test from a medical center is recommended.

The Lyon Firm is dedicated to representing veterans in VA disability claims in a wide variety of personal injury and product liability lawsuits. When contractors fail to protect those serving in the American armed forces, they should be held liable for injuries and damages related to their negligence.

If you or a loved one has suffered from military hearing loss or tinnitus due to defective 3M earplugs, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, a VA disability lawyer, and he will help you answer these critical questions.

Contact us today.