3M Earplug Lawsuits

Veterans Suing the Minnesota Company Claiming Defective Earplugs

Our lead attorney, Craig W. Drummond, is a former Captain in the U.S. Army JAG Corps and a decorated combat Veteran for service in Iraq. The Drummond Law Firm has a strong commitment to aggressively fighting legal battles for active duty, Reserve, National Guard, retiree and military Veterans. With this philosophy, the Drummond Law Firm is now accepting new clients for defective earplug cases.

As recently reported in the Military Times, hundreds of veterans who have served in combat zones, and other loud noise environments, have been filing lawsuits against 3M due to defective earplugs that were used in the military between 2003 and 2015. The defect has allegedly resulted in tinnitus, lose of balance, and hearing loss. Many affected are reporting that they hear buzzing in their ears, even during quiet times. 3M manufactured and caused to be sold to the United States a hearing protection device known as the Combat Arms Earplug (Version 2) (the “CAEv2”). The CAEv2 was first developed and sold by Aearo Technologies, Inc. (“Aearo”), a company which 3M acquired in 2008.

3M has agreed to pay $9.1 million to the government, after the justice department brought a lawsuit to 3M to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold the earplugs without disclosing the defects, but the company admitted no liability. See attached Settlement Agreement.


The specific claims about the defective earplugs are as follows:

  • The earplugs had a design defect which could cause the earplug to imperceptibly loosen in users’ ears, thereby rendering the earplugs useless or less effective.
  • The testing methodology employed by 3M did not comply with required and/or accepted standards.
  • The Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) listed on the earplug packaging materials and instructions did not accurately reflect the true characteristics of the earplugs.
  • 3M and/or its affiliated companies knowingly sold the earplugs to the United States military without first disclosing the design defect, flawed testing, and inaccurate NRR rating, which resulted in the submission of false claims.

The earplugs were discontinued and the Department of Justice declined to comment on which earplugs the military currently uses. 3M told CBS News in a recent article that it has “a long history of partnering with the U.S. military” and continues to make products to protect our troops. It denies the earplugs were defectively designed.

3M was not only accused of knowing about the defect as early as 2000, but also of manipulating test results to make the CAEv2 earplugs appear to meet government standards. Without adequate noise reduction, thousands of U.S. service members may have unknowingly suffered permanent hearing loss resulting from gunfire and explosions, resulting in injury, pain and suffering, as well as costly medical bills.


The case criteria for accepting a defective earplug case are as follows, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim if you or a loved one:

  • Served in any branch of the United States Military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard)
  • Were actively deployed in 2003 – 2015, especially in Iraq or Afghanistan
  • Experienced hearing damage after using 3M Combat Arms Earplugs

Trusted By Veterans

If you are a US Military Veteran or Active Duty and have experienced hearing loss, tinnitus, or loss of balance due to the use of 3M’s Dual-ended Combat Arms, you need a lawyer with the experience and resolve to represent you. Our lead attorney, Craig Drummond, is a former Captain in the U.S. Army JAG Corps and has subsequently represented many military and veteran clients. Craig has also been recognized as a Military Law Expert by many organizations and media outlets and he currently serves as a special editorial reporter for the Las Vegas Review Journal.

At the Drummond Law Firm the needs of our clients always come first. We are also the only law firm in NEVADA with the Fair Fee Guarantee®, meaning there is no fee unless we win your personal injury case.