3M to pay $6 billion in earplug settlement

American multinational conglomerate 3M agreed Tuesday to pay $6 billion to settle lawsuits from US service members who had hearing loss and other injuries from using earplugs made by the company.

The agreement, which resolves the Combat Arms Earplug litigation, includes $5 billion in cash and $1 billion in 3M common stock between 2023 and 2029, the company said in a statement.

“This agreement is not an admission of liability. The products at issue in this litigation are safe and effective when used properly,” it added.

3M said it will record a pre-tax charge of approximately $4.2 billion in the third quarter.

US service members claimed that a design defect in the earplugs, when slightly loosen, fail to protect ears and cause damage in hearing.

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