🎖️3M combat earplug lawsuits proceed despite bankruptcy case judge ruled
3M subsidiary Aearo Technologies LLC filed for bankruptcy protection in Indiana on July 26, seeking to resolve lawsuits alleging that 3M's Combat Arms Earplugs Version 2 (CAEv2) caused hearing loss.
3M Co is facing more than 230,000 lawsuits alleging that the company provided defective earplugs to the U.S. military.
U.S. bankruptcy Judge Jeffrey J. Graham in Indianapolis preciding on the case ruled that the bankruptcy of a subsidiary did not stop lawsuits against the non-bankrupt parent company.
3M subsidiary Aearo Technologies LLC argued that extending those protections to 3M would buy Aearo time to address its debts and restructuring goals
Aearo and 3M had argued that bankruptcy offered a faster and fairer way to compensate veterans who say that earplugs made by Aearo caused hearing loss
Aearo's bankruptcy restructuring could proceed in parallel with the lawsuits
Attorneys representing the veterans with hearing loss said they looked forward to continuing their lawsuits against 3M in other courts.
3M has lost 10 of the 16 cases that have gone to trial so far, with about $265 million being awarded in total to 13 plaintiffs.