3M has agreed to pay $6 billion 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 produced by the company that resulted in hearing loss or other serious injuries, reports the Associated Press.

3M will resolve nearly 250,000 lawsuits, without any admission of liability, in the multidistrict litigation filed by United States military service members, veterans, and commercial users, alleging audiological-related injuries from the use of the Combat Arms Earplug (“CAEv2”) for hearing protection. 

The CAEv2 was a dual-ended, triple-flanged earplug designed to provide two different options for hearing protection, depending on which end was worn, according to litigation documents.

“This agreement, reached through the mediation process that 3M has previously disclosed, is structured to promote participation by claimants and is intended to resolve all claims associated with the Combat Arms Earplug products,” 3M announced in a release.

Under the agreement, $6 billion from 3M will be paid out between 2023 and 2029, which is structured under the agreement to include $5.0 billion in cash and $1.0 billion in 3M common stock.

The earplugs were developed by Aearo Technologies in 2008, reports Reuters. The earplugs were used by U.S. military in training and combat from 2003 to 2015.

Further reading: Jury Awards $22.5M to Plaintiff in 3M Military Earplug Case