There are numerous protective devices employed by branches of the U.S. military to shield service members from harm. For example, many active and former members of the military used earplugs manufactured by 3M to block out dangerous noise levels during active combat or testing on military bases. Unfortunately, the earplugs did not work properly, resulting in widespread harm to the service members whom they were meant to protect. If you are or were a service member, and you suffered hearing loss, tinnitus, or other auditory damage due to defective 3M earplugs, you may be entitled to compensation. The North Carolina and South Carolina 3M earplug injury lawyers at Grimes Teich Anderson have ample experience helping victims pursue compensation for injuries caused by defective products.Defects in 3M Military Earplugs
For over a decade, 3M sold earplugs to the armed forces, which issued them to troops. The earplugs were generally used during activities in which service members were continuously exposed to dangerously loud noises, such as gunfire or explosions in active combat, or in the testing of equipment or devices on military bases. The earplugs had two ends. The yellow end of the earplug was intended to block out loud noises but allow the user to hear quieter sounds, while the green side was meant to work like a typical earplug, blocking out all noise. Due to a flaw in the design of the earplugs, however, the earplugs could not maintain a tight seal in the ear but would become loose, exposing unwitting service members to unsafe noise levels. Therefore, many service members ultimately developed permanent hearing loss and tinnitus, which is the term for constant ringing in the ears.Proving Liability for a Defective Product in North Carolina
If you suffered harm due to defective earplugs that you were issued as a service member, the 3M earplug injury attorneys at our North Carolina and South Carolina firm can help you pursue damages via a product liability lawsuit. Under North Carolina law, a person asserting a product liability claim must show that the manufacturer of the product was negligent to prove that the manufacturer should be held accountable. In other words, the person must produce evidence establishing that the manufacturer failed to exercise due care, the lack of care caused the product to be defective, the defect existed when the product left the manufacturer’s control, and the defect caused the person’s injuries.
While there are several ways in which a product can be defective, in cases involving 3M military earplugs, the injured person will most likely allege that the product was defectively designed, resulting in an unreasonable risk of harm. A victim who successfully proves that a manufacturer is liable may be awarded compensatory damages, such as compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of earnings.Proving Liability for a Defective Product in South Carolina
Our North Carolina and South Carolina 3M earplug injury attorneys also represent plaintiffs who are pursuing damages in South Carolina product liability lawsuits. Plaintiffs in South Carolina are not limited to negligence claims. They can assert breach of warranty claims and strict liability claims as well. Strict liability claims, unlike negligence claims, do not require the plaintiff to prove that the manufacturer breached a duty of care. Instead, the plaintiff must show that the product in question was defective, the defect existed when the product left the manufacturer’s control, and the defect caused the plaintiff’s harm. As in North Carolina, a plaintiff pursuing claims based on injuries caused by a defective product in South Carolina may be awarded compensatory damages.Meet With an Experienced Product Liability Lawyer
If you were injured by 3M military earplugs, you should meet with an experienced attorney to discuss the compensation that you may be able to recover. At Grimes Teich Anderson, we are committed to helping people injured by defective products recover the full amount of damages that they are owed. We have offices in Asheville, Franklin, Waynesville, Rutherfordton, and Spruce Pine in North Carolina, as well as Gaffney, Greenville, and Spartanburg in South Carolina. You can reach us through our online form or at 800.533.6845 to set up a free and confidential meeting with a 3M earplug injury lawyer in North Carolina or South Carolina.