3M Agrees to Pay $9.1 Million to the U.S. Government Over Allegations That it Supplied Defective Dual-Ended Earplugs
The Minnesota-based 3M Company has agreed to pay the U.S. government $9.1 million over allegations it knowingly sold defective combat earplugs from 2003-2015 without disclosing defects that hindered the effectiveness of the device.
Following the news of the settlement, acting Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler said that “the government contractors who seek to profit at the expense of our military will face appropriate consequences.”
According to the Justice Department’s press release, the settlement resolves that the company violated the False Claims Act by “selling or causing to be sold defective earplugs to the Defense Logistics Agency.”
The press release goes on to say that 3M, and its predecessor, Aearo Technologies, knew the Combat Arms Earplugs (CAEv2) were too short for proper use/insertion and failed to disclose the defect could cause the device to loosen while implanted, inhibiting its effectiveness.