The claim of the 3M Military Earplug lawsuit is that the earplugs that were sold to the military between 2003 and 2015 were ineffective and they woul would not fit snuggly and tight enough within the user’s ears.
The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that Aearo Technologies employees, including those who joined 3M after it acquired Aearo in 2008, knew about the design problems as early as 2000 when it completed testing of the earplugs.
Not only did 3M/Aearo knowingly sell these defective earplugs to men and women in uniform, it also prevented other companies from selling more effective competing products. 3M launched patent infringement litigation in 2012 aimed at Moldex-Metric’s BattlePlugs, which are now being purchased by the military. The lawsuit ended with a ruling in favor of Moldex.
3M and Aearo Technologies accused of knowing about the defect as early as 2000 as well as manipulating test results to make the CAEv2 earplugs appear to meet government standards.