Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. Investigating Class-Action Claims on Behalf of Purchasers of the Now-Discontinued Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs (CAEv2).
3M Company Agrees to Pay $9.1 Million to Resolve Allegations That it Supplied the United States With Defective Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs
In July 2018, the Department of Justice announced that 3M “. . . agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold the dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) to the United States military without disclosing defects that hampered the effectiveness of the hearing protection device.” Further, the Department of Justice announced that
[t]he settlement . . . resolves allegations that 3M violated the False Claims Act by selling or causing to be sold defective earplugs to the Defense Logistics Agency. Specifically, the United States alleged that 3M, and its predecessor, Aearo Technologies, Inc., knew the CAEv2 was too short for proper insertion into users’ ears and that the earplugs could loosen imperceptibly and therefore did not perform well for certain individuals. The United States further alleged that 3M did not disclose this design defect to the military.
The allegations resolved by the settlement were brought in a lawsuit filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act. The act permits private parties to sue on behalf of the government when they believe that defendants submitted false claims for government funds and to share in any recovery. As part of [the] resolution, the whistleblower will receive $1,911,000. [Emphasis added]
Defective Earplugs Issued to Thousands of Military Service Members
In August 2018, IEN reported (“Competitor Blows Whistle on Defective Combat Gear”):
The earplugs in question are designed to provide normal hearing while protecting eardrums from gunfire and explosions that create a concussive sound. Over time, these are the damage-producing noises that lead to hearing loss and other health concerns.
The [Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs (CAEv2)] were designed to be worn with either end placed inside the ear. One end allows for hearing speech and communicating, while the other end blocked all noise more completely.
The problem is that these earplugs, which were issued to thousands of military servicemen and woman deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq between 2003 and 2015, is that they can loosen while in the ear. The soldier wouldn’t notice, but this looser fit means potentially damaging sounds make their way into the ear. [Emphasis added]
Purchasers of Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2)
If you purchased Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) and have questions or concerns about your potential legal rights, please contact Michael Yarnoff, Esq., [email protected], [email protected], (215) 792-6676, Ext. 804.