3M Agrees to $6 Billion Settlement in Combat Arms Earplug Litigation

3M Agrees to $6 Billion Settlement in Combat Arms Earplug Litigation

The settlement aims to resolve all claims associated with the Combat Arms Earplug products.

3M has reached a settlement agreement in the Combat Arms Earplug litigation against itself and Aearo Technologies.

In a statement dated August 29, 3M announced it will contribute a total of $6 billion—$5 billion in cash and $1 billion in common stock—by 2029. The agreement is intended to provide a resolution to all claims associated with the Combat Arms Earplug products. These include all claims in Florida and Minnesota courts as well as any potential future claims.

“This agreement is not an admission of liability,” according to 3M’s statement on this matter. “The products at issue in this litigation are safe and effective when used properly. 3M is prepared to continue to defend itself in the litigation if certain agreed terms of the settlement agreement are not fulfilled.”

Due to the settlement, 3M will record a pre-tax charge of approximately $4.2 billion in the third quarter of 2023. This represents the $5.3 billion pre-tax present value of contributions under the agreement net of 3M's existing accrual of approximately $1.1 billion related to this matter. Further details will be included in 3M's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Both Aearo and 3M have begun insurance recovery activities to offset settlement payments. And Aearo began related insurance recovery litigation against its carriers in June.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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