Thousands of veterans and current military service members may be entitled to financial compensation in the 3M earplug lawsuit for hearing loss and tinnitus caused by defective earplugs. In this article, we will discuss the latest updates in the 3M litigation and provide information on how veterans can seek the compensation they deserve.
3M Earplug Lawsuit Updates
September 1, 2023 Update:
Judge Rodgers issued an order to address predatory lending practices in the 3M settlement. The judge’s order requires earplug claimants and their attorneys to disclose all third-party litigation funding arrangements to ensure fairness. Additionally, the Court-appointed Settlement Administrator will maintain settlement funds for plaintiffs who received a loan, with no obligation to negotiate repayment of any third-party litigation or settlement loan.
August 28, 2023 Update:
3M’s board of directors approved the $6 billion earplug settlement agreement. The settlement funds will be paid out over the next several years based on qualifying criteria. However, lawyers involved in the settlement negotiations were ordered to keep the details confidential.
August 2, 2023 Update:
139 plaintiffs who have filed more than one lawsuit in the 3M MDL were given an ultimatum by the judge to resolve their claims. Another group of over 350 plaintiffs were given a deadline to submit outstanding documentation for their cases to proceed.
July 18, 2023 Update:
As of July 17, 2023, there were a total of 257,449 plaintiffs with pending cases in the 3M earplugs MDL. The judge plans to dismiss cases that have failed to comply with procedural requirements in the next few weeks.
July 10, 2023 Update:
The first trial for non-veteran claims was set to go to trial in Minnesota state court. The outcome of this trial could impact 3M’s settlement approach.
July 5, 2023 Update:
A new tolling agreement was put in place for claimants who filed lawsuits against 3M during the bankruptcy stay. The agreement does not revive claims where the statute of limitations has already passed.
July 1, 2023 Update:
More cases were dismissed for failing to comply with requirements to participate in the litigation.
June 28, 2023 Update:
3M asked the 11th Circuit to overturn Judge Rodgers’s ruling that prohibits 3M from challenging certain decisions from the MDL. Plaintiffs argue that 3M can only make the same argument to so many judges and the appropriate path is to appeal.
June 21, 2023 Update:
3M took its case to the Eleventh Circuit to overturn a $50 million verdict resulting from a bellwether trial. The company argued that it should have immunity as a government contractor.
June 16, 2023 Update:
The number of pending cases in the MDL decreased for the second month in a row. There were 254,943 active plaintiffs in the earplugs MDL as of June 15, 2023.
June 15, 2023 Update:
Judge Jeffrey J. Graham ruled that Aearo Technologies can present its Chapter 11 case dismissal appeal directly to the Seventh Circuit. This ruling comes shortly after Graham dismissed Aearo’s Chapter 11 case for lacking a valid reorganization objective.
June 14, 2023 Update:
Kirkland & Ellis LLP requested approval for $13 million in expenses and fees related to the Aearo bankruptcy case. The bankruptcy was dismissed as baseless due to Aearo’s financial stability.
June 13, 2023 Update:
Judge Casey Rogers issued orders to clear cases from the 3M earplugs docket. Plaintiffs who failed to provide required information had their cases dismissed, but active-duty plaintiffs and non-veterans have an opportunity to reopen their cases.
June 12, 2023 Update:
A judge ruled that Aearo Technologies cannot seek bankruptcy relief for its combat earplugs liability claims. The judge expressed concerns about financially healthy debtors attempting to use bankruptcy without imminent solvency issues.
June 2, 2023 Update:
Mediation did not result in a settlement, but progress was made, and negotiations continue. The case will likely proceed to trials while settlement talks are ongoing.
June 1, 2023 Update:
Judge Rodgers dismissed cases for failing to comply with requirements to participate in the litigation.
May 31, 2023 Update:
The judge ordered the transfer of cases to local jurisdictions for trials. The remaining cases will be remanded after the current stay is lifted.
May 22, 2023 Update:
A federal judge ruled that 3M’s CEO must be present at a mediation session regarding the earplug claims. The session aims to inform the Board of Directors about the potential for a global resolution.
May 15, 2023 Update:
The number of pending cases in the 3M earplugs MDL decreased to 255,500. Large blocks of cases are expected to be dismissed for failure to comply with procedural requirements.
May 8, 2023 Update:
More cases were dismissed for failure to comply with requests for information.
May 3, 2023 Update:
Settlement talks are back on and will encompass the MDL class action and pending state court cases. The bankruptcy mediation process failed to yield a settlement.
May 2, 2023 Update:
The Eleventh Circuit panel of judges appears open to affirming veterans’ hearing loss verdicts. 3M’s government contractor defense is facing scrutiny.
May 1, 2023 Update:
3M is appealing to the 11th Circuit to assert broad immunity from lawsuits. The government contractor defense is being argued, but the odds of a 3M victory are remote.
April 20, 2023 Update:
Judge Rodgers dismissed more cases for failure to comply with procedural requirements. A bankruptcy judge is hearing oral arguments on the dismissal of the Aearo bankruptcy.
April 19, 2023 Update:
Oral arguments for the appeal of the initial verdicts will take place on May 1, 2023.
April 18, 2023 Update:
More cases were filed in the MDL, but the number of pending cases decreased due to dismissals.
April 14, 2023 Update:
The bankruptcy court refused 3M’s request to extend the automatic stay. The bankruptcy mediation process failed to yield a settlement.
April 1, 2023 Update:
The 3M lawsuits have still not reached a settlement. Judge Rodgers ordered cases to be transferred for trial. Settlement talks are back on through mediation.
March 11, 2023 Update:
Judge Rodgers criticized 3M