(CTN News) – 3M has started paying more than $250 million in settlements related to defective earplugs that caused hearing loss in veterans and military members.
The settlement was reached last August when 3M agreed to pay $6 billion to resolve legal claims relating to its Combat Arms Earplugs. According to 3M, the settlement does not constitute an admission of guilt, as the company maintains that the products are safe when used appropriately.
It is estimated that $3 billion in cash will be required to be paid to between the years 2023 and 2029, while $1 billion in common stock will be required to be paid between 2023 and 2029.
As a result, approximately 276,000 claimants who are involved in the lawsuit have the option of opting out of going to trial in favor of the settlement in order to avoid an expensive trial.
The earplugs in question were manufactured for the military between 2003 and 2025, during this time period 3M acquired Aearo Technologies, which manufactured them for the military.
Following the $10.3 billion settlement between 3M and a number of public water systems in the United States over the contamination of public water systems with PFAS, or “forever chemicals,” the August settlement was reached.