3M DUAL-ENDED COMBAT ARMS™ (CAEV2)
The 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ (CAEv2) were designed to solve multiple hearing protection issues for military personnel. The earplugs were color-coded yellow for Weapons-Fire Mode and green for Closed/Constant Protection Mode. The earplugs were available at military bases in the United States and combat zones (Iraq and Afghanistan, etc.). From 2003 to 2015, 3M supplied as many as 2.2 million earplugs to the US Military.
Weapons-Fire Mode was supposed to force sound through a filter that restricted high-level impulse noise while allowing lower level sound through the earplug. Closed/Constant Protection Mode restricted all sound, including constant noise, in the same way as traditional hearing protection.
The earplugs did not work the way 3M said they would. In 2016, a Whistleblower lawsuit was filed under the False Claims Act contending that 3M WAS AWARE OF THE DEFECTS AS EARLY AS 2000 but sold them to the government, anyway. The government contended that, in addition to causing thousands of soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen to suffer significant hearing loss and tinnitus,
“The indirect cost to the public of 3M’s fraud has been enormous. In addition to funding the military’s repeated purchases of the defective earplugs from 3M for more than a decade, tax payers shoulder the massive expense of treating veterans with hearing damage and impairment, which represents the largest ongoing medical cost to the military.”
If you used 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms™ (CAEv2) hearing protection between 2003 and 2015 and you have been diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus, contact us. We can help.