Soldier from Portland sues 3M over defective earplugs

Posted at 12:12 PM, Apr 30, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A soldier from Portland, Michigan is suing the 3M company, saying that the earplugs the company provided to the military were defective.

Gale Jugovich entered the military in 2003 and was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and 2006. During that time, the military distributed 3M’s Dual-Ended Combat Arms earplugs to Jugovich and other military personnel.  During that time, soldiers were in close proximity to rocket and ammunition fire, both in combat and in training.  Jugovich claims that he has suffered severe tinnitus and partial hearing loss.

The earplugs were made by Aearo, which was taken over by 3M in 2008. The lawsuit says that 3M assumed liability from Aearo in the takeover.

The earplugs were made so they could be worn in two ways: one to block out all noise and the other to block out loud noises, but would allow some quieter sounds, like conversation, to be heard.  The lawsuit says that the company manipulated testing results to make the earplugs appear more effective than they were and they falsely sold the product to the military.

The lawsuit does not list an estimated amount of damages.