Military veterans speak on loss of quality of life following 3M’s $6 billion settlement

The company agrees to pay $6 Billion after faulty ear plugs cause apparent hearing loss
Published: Sep. 2, 2023 at 10:57 AM CDT

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Tuesday, Manufacturing company 3M will settle a lawsuit by paying more than six billion dollars to nearly 250,000 U.S. military veterans and service members. They allege the company manufactured defective earplugs that resulted in hearing loss.

“It was probably around 2007 where I really started noticing that this is not right. This is a problem,” said Daniel Perez. He’s a Huntsville native and Marine who now finds himself on the receiving end of part of a $6B lawsuit settlement.

Perez said the earplugs were standard-issue equipment, so he thought nothing of it. Now, he says his quality of life has suffered for it.

“One of the big changes -- I would say notable changes, and I would say noticeable changes that even my spouse, my parents noticed was my avoidance of large crowds. Of loud venues. Any kind of loud music,” he said.

Jessie Posey is a National Guardsman and he too is in line to receive a part of that billion-dollar settlement. He finds the loss of hearing he’s suffered to be aggravating. He also believes the problem is more pervasive than we know.

“I feel like 95% of all of my friends -- we’re in combat MOS, being infantry -- and everybody deals with the hearing loss,” Posey said. “It’s so common that people don’t think they would have an opportunity for something like this and they just deal with it and they’ll just get their VA rating and they go on about their life and then just complain about it.”

Each veteran could be looking at $25,000 each, paid over four years.

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