Business

3M attempt to stop thousands of lawsuits about earplugs fails

  • 3M’s loses first round of legal battle in bankruptcy court.
  • The company tried to stop about 230,000 personal injury claims from US soldiers.
  • 3M is best known for selling Post-it notes and Scotch tape.

3M lost the first round of a legal battle in bankruptcy court where it tried to stop about 230,000 personal injury claims from US soldiers from going to a jury trial.

US Bankruptcy Judge Jeffrey Graham in Indiana turned down a request by the conglomerate to temporarily stop lawsuits that say 3M and its subsidiary Aearo Technologies, which has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, sold bad earplugs to the military.

The ruling on Friday makes it possible for jury trials against 3M to continue. These trials are part of one of the largest mass tort litigations in US history.

They make up almost a third of all pending federal district court cases.

Shares of 3M’s fell by 9% after the ruling. The business said it would go to court.

3M said in a statement that “Continuing to litigate these cases one-by-one over the coming years will not provide certainty or fairness for any party.”

The industrial multinational known best for selling Post-it notes and Scotch tape filed for bankruptcy last month with its subsidiary Aearo, which sells earplugs of military-grade to the military.

3M is best known for selling Post-it notes and Scotch tape. In 2008, 3M completed the acquisition of Aearo in a deal with a value of $1.2 billion.

The personal injury lawsuits against Aearo stopped as soon as the company filed for bankruptcy. 3M had asked the bankruptcy court to stop all cases against it for a longer time.

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