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3M begins payments to military service members in $6B earplug settlement

3M will pay $6 billion to settle military lawsuits over its earplugs
Posted at 12:01 PM, Jan 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-18 12:01:41-05

NEW YORK (AP) — 3M has started paying out parts of its $6 billion settlement to U.S. service members who say they experienced hearing loss or other serious injuries after using faulty earplugs made by the company.

The chemical and consumer product manufacturer made a $250 million payment to the qualified settlement fund on Dec. 26, expected to result in 25,000 to 30,000 claimants dismissing associated litigation.

And this week, 3M said it was accelerating another payment of $253 million to settle "wave" cases by Jan. 31.

3M reached the settlement agreement back in August — after hundreds of thousands of veterans and current service members sued the company and Aearo Technologies over their Combat Arms Earplugs. Payments are set to run through 2029.