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VERIFY: Yes, ads targeting service members who used 3M ear plugs are a common practice by law firms.

An Army veteran from St. Peters saw Facebook ads targeting service members and boasting about how they can make millions of dollars.

SAINT LOUIS, Mo. — Retired Army Master Sergeant, Greg Santoni, said his Facebook feed is filled with ads recruiting members of the armed forces that served between 2003-2015.

The ads claim 3M supplied defective ear plugs to the U.S. military that resulted in hearing loss and tinnitus. Some of the ads also claim 3M is paying millions of dollars in damages to veterans who have filed and won lawsuits against the company.

OUR SOURCES

Amy Gunn, Simon Law Firm. Gunn is a St. Louis attorney representing 300 service members who used the 3M earplugs.

Robert Cowan, a court appointed attorney who oversees the lawsuits against 3M nationwide.

ANSWER

True, these ads on social media are a common practice by law firms to recruit clients. 

So far, 290,000 active duty service members and veterans have filed individual lawsuits against 3M. Only 15 have gone to trial. 3M lost nine of those trials and had to pay a total of $220 million in damages.

WHAT WE FOUND

Our experts say if you’re a service member who thinks you’re eligible to file a lawsuit, pay attention to the statute of limitations. In Missouri, you have five years to file a lawsuit. In Illinois, you have two years.  

Our experts say in most states, the clock starts ticking on the statute of limitations when you not only discover the injury, but you discover what caused it.

Our experts suggest if you think you have a case, talk to an attorney to find out if your claim is viable.

3M denies any wrongdoing. A company spokesperson told NBC News the ear plug “was safe and effective to use when properly fitted and that 3M provided instruction to the military on the proper fitting and use.”

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