(Reuters) – When U.S. combat veteran Dave Henderson completed his first deployment to Iraq in 2010, he began to experience ringing in his ears and struggled to hear what others around him picked up with ease.
Henderson blames the hearing damage on an earplug that the military bought by the millions from 3M Co and he is one of more than 200,000 veterans and service members suing the company, claiming it covered up known design defects from the Department of Defense.
“We had no choice but to use the 3M earplugs,” said Henderson, 36, who earned a Bronze Star Medal while in the Army from 2007 to 2013. “We trusted that our equipment would work.”
Henderson, who lives in Philadelphia, said he now sleeps with a fan on to help blur “out the ringing in his ears” and sometimes can’t hear when one of his two children is crying.
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