Many workers across the United States work in environments that expose them to hazardous noise levels. Examples of these professionals include construction workers, military personnel, gardeners, iron and metal workers, highway maintenance workers, and miners.
To prevent this loud noise from affecting them, these pros often rely on earplugs developed by various companies. Most notably, 3M earplugs have been recommended as the best option for these workers, and it is no surprise seeing most of them using them when on site.
However, some of these workers have been seen to suffer from hearing loss and tinnitus even after using 3M earplugs to cushion them from the effects of loud noise. These issues cannot be cured easily and can worsen over time, affecting one’s life significantly. In some instances, hearing problems can affect someone psychologically and leave them depressed and anxious. Besides, hearing issues can affect how people communicate in any workplace, increasing the chance of accidents.
If you have experience hearing issues or have a loved one who has suffered from the same after using 3M earplugs, contact Cellino Law today, and our New York injury lawyers will be glad to file a 3M earplug lawsuit for you.
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What Model of 3M Earplugs Has Been Linked to Hearing Issues?
3M earplugs are used in various applications, but most notably, by the military where they have been using it since 2003. The company makes multiple earplugs, but the most commonly used brand is the E-A-R Arc Earplugs. This is a dual-ended earplug with one side made to cancel out all noise and the other designed to cut out only loud sounds. The latter side is suitable for workplaces where workers can still communicate while still staying safe from hazardous noise.
However, this model of earplugs offered by 3M has not worked to the expected standards. It is noted that a defect in the design makes them unable to hold tight in the ear, and this way, they can become loose without warning. This is a serious flaw as it leaves the individual using it exposed without them noticing it. As a result of this defect, many people have suffered from personal injuries resulting from exposure to loud noise, despite putting their faith in these earplugs to protect them.
What Hearing Issues Have These Earplugs Caused?
Exposure to loud noise resulting from faulty earplugs by 3M has dramatically affected people’s hearing ability. In most cases, they have led to the loss of hearing and tinnitus, as seen from most military people who used them over the years.
To ascertain this, the military uses two checks to assess one’s hearing ability, which are pure tone audiometry and speech audiometry. Pure tone audiometry is a standard hearing test that determines how well one can hear the faintest tones at different frequencies. It is done to determine the degree of hearing loss. It could be mild, moderate, or severe.
Tinnitus, on the other hand, is a condition where someone hears continuous noise or a ringing sound in their ears. It is a common problem and is mostly accelerated by exposure to loud noise.
Who Can File a 3M Earplug Lawsuit in New York?
While various professionals use 3M earplugs to protect them from the effects of extremely loud noise, the largest group of people that have been affected by this defect is the military. If you served time between 2002 and 2015, it is essential to know that 3M had an exclusive contract with the United States Armed Forces to provide protective earplugs to all servicemen and servicewomen.
This way, 3M provided its dual-ended combat arms earplugs, which can be identified by their yellow and drab green colors. Military personnel often complained that these earplugs would always become loose and fall when being used but did not anticipate that this could be the beginning of serious health problems for them.
Data collected by the Department of Veteran Affairs shows an increase in hearing loss and diagnosis of tinnitus among service members who served time between 2002 and 2015. Besides, these cases were seen to reduce after 2016, where the military no longer used 3M earplugs.
If you are a veteran and experience hearing difficulties, there is a massive chance that this could have resulted from using these defective 3M earplugs. This way, it is prudent that you seek the services of an experienced lawyer who will file for a claim and see to it that you are compensated for the damages you suffered.
While 3M paid the Department of Justice a settlement of $9.1 million, it doesn’t cater for civil damages. As a result, it is within your rights to file for an independent claim and seek compensation for various damages. Examples include medical costs and treatment of your hearing impairments, pain and suffering, emotional stress, and reduced enjoyment of life.
Note that lawsuits against 3M regarding the use of their earplugs are not restricted to those working under the US military. Other people have been using them and if you experienced hearing impairments after using them for some time, contact us, and we will be happy to handle your lawsuit.
How Long Will it Takes for a 3M Earplug Lawsuit to be Settled?
Combat earplugs lawsuits against 3M can be complicated, but they can be settled at any time. The process is likely to follow the same one as you would file for compensation for any other case. For example, after a complaint is filed, the plaintiff’s attorney will send a demand letter to the defendant, explaining the harm caused and seeking a certain amount of money in compensation.
This letter will spur serious settlement talks, and if the two parties can agree on a fair amount, then the issue won’t have to go to litigation. In most cases, it is easy to reach an agreement as to the date of the lawsuit approaches, and both parties get a clear picture of the case and their chances of winning.
Note that the timeline depends on you to some extent. If the defendant offers you a settlement amount early on, you could be excited about getting fast money. Still, you might not be receiving the full compensation amount needed to cover your damages. This way, do not be quick to agree to early settlements, especially if there are a few things that are not clear in the 3M combat earplugs case.
Here, our experienced lawyers will assess your case and give you the pros and cons to ensure that you get the correct amount, regardless of the timeframe. Typical 3M earplug lawsuits are seen to be settled after six months, but they could even last for many years, depending on the number of hearings one is required to attend.
How Can a Lawyer Help my New York 3M Earplug Lawsuit?
3M Earplug cases are complicated, and it is unwise to handle them on your own. Since this matter has been in the limelight for a few years now, there is a possibility of a mass tort case being filed. Only an experienced lawyer will understand how to maneuver such murky legal waters.
A lawyer will prepare the facts by assembling medical examination reports and send a demand letter to the defendant to notify them of their wrongdoing. They will then hold out for a specific compensation amount and break it down into economic, non-economic, and punitive damages where applicable to try and justify this figure.
From here, the defendant will give a counteroffer, and your lawyer will guide you whether you should take it or not, depending on the prevailing circumstances. If the amount will compensate you to some extent and is reasonable, your lawyer will advise you to take it rather than face off in court. If it is not sufficient, they will prepare a lawsuit and meet the defendant in court.
A reliable lawyer is your best chance of getting the compensation you deserve in your New York 3M earplug lawsuit. We understand how hearing impairments can derail your quality of life and will go all-in to ensure that you are fairly compensated.
How Much Will a Lawyer Cost?
Our team of attorneys won’t charge you a single cent upfront. This is because we work on a contingency fee basis. This is an agreement where we get our fees as a percentage of the compensation amount awarded. This agreement is beneficial for both parties since you are assured that we will put in a shift and take on the defense to ensure that the compensation amount we are holding up for is awarded.
Contact Cellino Law Today
Lawsuits against 3M earplugs are personal injury cases, and we have the experience and skill to handle them. We understand this matter profoundly and have previously represented numerous seniors who ended up receiving the compensation amount they deserve for the health problems they developed after trusting these earplugs.
If you are one of the affected service members, it is regrettable that you have to go through such a hard time. Contact our New York mass tort lawyers today, and we will be happy to kickstart the claims process and notify the defense of their wrongdoing.