A retired U.S. Marine captain in Philadelphia joins service members across the country by filing a lawsuit against the Minnesota-based company, 3M, after suffering total hearing loss in his right ear.
According to the suit, Matthew Morrison served in the Marines from 2007 to 2013, where he toured Iraq, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. After being honorably discharged in 2013, Morrison was diagnosed with a hearing impairment that eventually led to hearing loss in his right ear.
The suit claims the Combat-Arm Earplugs, a specific earplug distributed by 3M and used by millions of U.S. military members from 2003 through 2015, caused hearing impairments or permanent hearing loss. Morrison consistently used the Combat-Arm Earplugs throughout his training and pre-deployment procedures.
Morrison is not the only service member suffering due to the defective earplugs. Thousands of active military personnel and veterans filed lawsuits across the country against 3M for undisclosed defects in the earplugs' design.
According to the Philly Voice, a major design flaw in the earplugs caused the plugs to loosen in the user's ear. Eventually, the damaging sounds entered through the ear canal, around the earplug.
It's a significant concern because more than a million veterans already suffer from hearing loss with an additional 1.5 million diagnosed with tinnitus. If military members use defective equipment, it puts more service members at a higher risk for permanent hearing damage.
The next step for service members
For military members like Morrison, it's critical to seek the proper compensation to cover medical costs and lost wages. The settlement helps veterans and active military members gain access to other medical treatments, hearing aids or financial support.
Luckily, military members are eligible to file legal complaints against 3M if they prove that the Combat-Arm Earplugs caused hearing impairments or total loss from 2003 through 2015. Speak to an attorney if you have a case against 3M.