Combat Arms Defective Earplugs Short-Form Complaint to Join Larger Class Action

This is a short-form complaint filing that “incorporate(s) by reference the Master Long Form Complaint and Jury Trial Demand filed in In re: 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation on September 20, 2019.” This apparently adds another plaintiff in the combined class actions assembled under the above names, making claims against 3M Company and other defendants for defects in dual-ended combat arms earplugs.

The master complaint names as defendants 3M, 3M Occupational Safety, LLC, Aearo Holding, LLC, Aearo Intermediate, LLC, Aearo, LLC, and Aearo Technologies, LLC; however, this short-form complaint names only 3M Company and Aearo Technologies.

What’s wrong with the earplugs? An earlier complaint about the product, brought against the 3M Company only, describes the dual-ended earplugs this way: “Worn in the closed position (green end), the Earplugs were supposed to offer protection from all sounds. Worn in the open position (yellow end), the Earplugs were supposed to significantly reduce loud impulse noises such as gunfire or battlefield explosions, while still allowing the wearer to hear low-level sounds criticial to mission safety such as voice commands or the footsteps of approaching enemies.”

However, this earlier complaint alleges that the product had a defect: The earplugs could loosen in the wearer’s ear without the wearer being aware of it, and sounds could then enter around the earplug.

According to that complaint, before the product was sold to the US government for use by soldiers, 3M conducted testing which unequivocally revealed the existence of the defect and resulted in the closed end of the Earplugs being half as effective at blocking sound as it ultimately claimed to be, and the open end of the Earplugs amplified sound rather than blocking it. Soldiers could thus suffer hearing damage while thinking that they were protected.

3M did not redesign the earplugs, the complaint alleges, but “secretly altered the fitting and insertion procedure” in a way that allowed it to “artificially boost the Earplugs noise reduction rating sufficiently for [3M] to win the bid” to supply the military with the earplugs.

According to this earlier complaint, “By the time the Combat Arms was discontinued, 3M had sold millions of Earplugs to the U.S. Government and recklessly expos[ed] tens of thousands of military personnel to the devastating effects of exposure to high levels of impulse noise.”

This short complaint about the same product alleges injuries and side effects from the earplugs, including sequelae to hearing loss and tinnitus.

It adopts nearly all of the allegations of the main complaint: Design Defect—Negligence and Strict Liability; Failure to Warn—Negligence and Strict Liability; Breach of Express Warranty and Implied Warranty; Negligent and Fraudulent Misrepresentation; Fraudulent Concealment; Fraud and Deceit; Gross Negligence and Negligence Per Se; Consumer Fraud and/or Unfair Trade; Unjust Enrichment; and Punitive Damages. The only count it does not adopt is loss of consortium.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Liability

Most Recent Case Event

Combat Arms Defective Earplugs Short-Form Complaint

February 5, 2020

This is a short-form complaint filing that “incorporate(s) by reference the Master Long Form Complaint and Jury Trial Demand filed in In re: 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation on September 20, 2019.” This apparently adds another plaintiff in the combined class actions assembled under the above names, making claims against 3M Company and other defendants for defects in dual-ended combat arms earplugs.

Combat Arms Defective Earplugs Short-Form Complaint

Case Event History

Combat Arms Defective Earplugs Short-Form Complaint

February 5, 2020

This is a short-form complaint filing that “incorporate(s) by reference the Master Long Form Complaint and Jury Trial Demand filed in In re: 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation on September 20, 2019.” This apparently adds another plaintiff in the combined class actions assembled under the above names, making claims against 3M Company and other defendants for defects in dual-ended combat arms earplugs.

Combat Arms Defective Earplugs Short-Form Complaint
Tags: Defective Product, Earplugs