3M announced that, as of the final registration date for the Combat Arms Earplug settlement agreement, more than 99% of claimants are participating in the settlement to resolve litigation by U.S. military veterans and service members against the company and Aearo Technologies—a wholly-owned subsidiary of 3M—for faulty earplugs. 

According to the Associated Press, 3M agreed in August 2023 to pay $6 billion to resolve litigation regarding faulty earplugs that were produced by the company which resulted in hearing loss or other serious injuries.

Claimants Registered for the Settlement

Out of a total of more than 293,000 claims, more than 249,000 claimants have registered to participate in the settlement. In addition, more than 41,000 claims have been dismissed by the courts administering the agreements. 

Once all the settlement registrations that have been submitted by claimants have been processed and validated, 3M anticipates that the settlement will have achieved a more than 99.9% participation level.

A $6 Billion Resolution

Under the terms of the agreement, 3M will pay the total $6 billion between 2023 to 2029, to resolve the litigation, provided all participation thresholds are met. This represents a total pre-tax present value of $5.3 billion, for which the company has previously recorded reserves.

Aearo and 3M are actively engaged in insurance recovery activities to offset a portion of the settlement payments, according to the companies Formal recovery processes are underway through a lawsuit filed in Delaware, as well as arbitration proceedings.

Further reading: 3M to Pay $6B to Settle U.S. Military Earplug Lawsuit