The Law Offices of Peter Angelos became a household name locally in Maryland and throughout the legal community nationally for pioneering two of the largest mass torts in American history.
The first was on behalf of thousands of steelworkers and tradesmen against the asbestos industry, resulting in what was at one time the largest ruling in American history. The second was on behalf of the state of Maryland against the tobacco industry a generation later, which set a precedent for other states in combating the titans of tobacco and ended with the same result. Together, they resulted in billions of dollars in compensation for plaintiffs.
Representatives for the firm announced that they have begun filing hundreds of suits against one of the nation’s leading military equipment manufacturers for perhaps knowingly providing defective earplugs to essentially every American soldier deployed in post-9/11 conflict. 3M is a publicly traded company that reports almost $40 billion in annual revenue. The company produced the standard issue combat earplugs provided to active combat military personnel for decades.
In July of 2018, the company paid $9.1 million to the United States government to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly selling the government defective earplugs. Legal experts around the country have speculated that the relatively insignificant settlement compared to the size of the contracts may be a sign of things to come
The lawsuit was brought about by a whistleblower, who raised red flags about the company’s potential knowledge of defects that may be resulting in significant trauma to the ears of personnel using them.
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) reports that claims related to trauma to the ears are the most prevalent issue facing its medical centers today. Tinnitus and hearing loss are the number one and two health conditions, respectively, among military veterans at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers. In 2017, there were 1.79 million disability compensation recipients for tinnitus and 1.16 million compensation recipients for hearing loss.
Representatives for the Law Offices of Peter Angelos said that they have been contacted by thousands of veterans all across the country.
“We are working to file lawsuits on behalf of hundreds of veterans in regard to their standard issued combat earplugs,” said Jay Miller, an attorney with the firm. “This issue impacts a substantial number of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and we’re honored to support these heroes who served us all as they deal with this challenge. We believe these efforts will ultimately benefit thousands of veterans.”
If you or a loved one served in the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015 and experienced hearing damage due to defective earplugs, we urge you to contact The Law Offices of Peter Angelos, as you may be entitled to pursue compensation.