Between 2003 and 2015, 3M supplied the Army, Navy, and Air Force with Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs. In summer 2018, the U.S. government reached a $9.1 million settlement with 3M in a claim that alleged the company knew the earplugs were defective but failed to disclose the problem.
If you wore 3M earplugs during your military service and were diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus, you may have grounds for a product liability claim. For your case to be successful, though, you will need strong evidence of liability and damages. Below are a few types of evidence that might contribute to the strength of your claim:
1. Military Service Records
Your military service records may not necessarily prove that you were issued the defective earplugs, but they can prove that you were serving when the earplugs were distributed. If you’re not sure which documents will be the most valuable, bring any you have on-hand to your first meeting with an attorney.
2. Medical Records
Your claim won’t be successful unless you’ve received an official diagnosis to prove that you do in fact have impaired hearing or tinnitus. If you have yet to visit an audiologist, you should do so right away.
3. Journal Entries
Neither hearing loss nor tinnitus is a visible injury. That means it’s not out of the question that the opposing party will dispute the severity of your condition. One way to demonstrate the impact your injury has had on your life is to keep a personal injury journal.
Your first entry should be about the event(s) that might have led to your condition. Write down everything you can remember about the equipment you were issued and the situations in which you think your hearing may have been damaged. Then, write regular entries about the ways in which the hearing loss or tinnitus is affecting your everyday life. No detail is too small or insignificant to document.
4. Statements from Loved Ones
Hearing loss is one of those medical conditions that can affect friends and loved ones almost as much as it affects the victim. For this reason, statements from those closest to you may help strengthen your claim. Ask family members to write down the ways your condition has impacted them and how their lives have changed since you sustained hearing loss.
Call (601) 265-7766 to Speak with a Product Liability Attorney in Jackson
If you wore Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs during your military service and you’ve suffered hearing loss or tinnitus, you may be entitled to compensation. To discuss your case and determine the best way to proceed, contact Coxwell & Associates.
Our personal injury attorneys understand the dramatic effect that such an injury can have on your quality of life. We will do everything in our power to help you pursue the highest settlement possible. Call (601) 265-7766 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a product liability lawyer in Jackson.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.