3M Earplugs Lawsuit Updates & News | May 2024

Editorial Team


Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.


Read in 7 mins

Below are some crucial key developments in this case that helped in reforming the accusations and highlighting the key aspects of this case as well. There is no doubt that such sensitivity can easily bring the responsible party to justice if they are found guilty.

Number of 3M Lawsuits

There is a rapid increase in lawsuits against 3M military earplugs. Media is also playing an active part in this regard. Therefore people are getting more aware and concerned about this controversy on the whole.

Denial of 3M's Bankruptcy Filing

The 3M company also filed bankruptcy to save itself from the accusations and its reputation getting tarnished in the market. Due to this reason, it was an unsuccessful attempt to run from their responsibilities. The court rejected their request to file bankruptcy. Through this lawsuit, they intended to accuse Aero Technologies, which is the actual producer of the earplugs under discussion.

3M Settlement Talks

Since there is a growing number of lawsuits against the company, they are considering settlements with the victims. Due to this reason, they are willing to compensate the victims who have compromised their ear plugs as well. In this case, crucial legal proceedings and hearings are taking place that can create an influence on the financial status of the 3M company on the whole. However, victims are hopeful of receiving the rightful compensation from the company through professional attorneys.

Most Recent Updates

  1. The 3M earplugs MDL has seen a significant reduction, with 23,478 cases resolved last month, lowering the total to 247,640 pending cases. This marks the largest monthly decline since the litigation began, as the settlement process progresses.

  2. Case Management Order No. 88 has been issued in the 3M settlement, introducing a "Bulk Submission" method to streamline the submission process for claimants. This new method, managed by Settlement Administrator BrownGreer, enables Primary Counsel to submit data and documents for multiple claimants simultaneously. It pertains to applications for the Extraordinary Injury Fund (EIF) and Deferred Payment Program (DPP) supplementations.

    Lead plaintiff attorneys received detailed guidelines for this process on Monday. To avoid logistical complications, the court has set specific earlier deadlines for these bulk submissions compared to individual submissions: April 22, 2024, for MSA III Wave Claimants, and July 23, 2024, for MSA I Claimants, covering both EIF applications and DPP supplementations.

  3. Initiation of settlement payments has led to a notable reduction in the 3M class action MDL. Around 5,000 cases have been resolved in the past month, bringing the total number of pending cases down to 271,118.

  4. Judge Rodgers has given the green light to 3M Co.'s plan to issue $1 billion in unregistered stock, a key step in settling ongoing litigation. The court's approval was based on several critical factors:

    Fairness and Practicality: The court emphasized the suitability of using unregistered stock as compensation, considering its fairness and practical approach.

    Valuation Process: The order specifies a method for valuing the unregistered stock, using a weighted average approach. This method aligns with regulatory standards and practices employed by experts in valuing shares of publicly traded companies.

    Managing Stock Dilution Risks: To address potential stock dilution as the veterans' fund offloads these shares, the stock issuance will be carried out in tranches. This phased approach is designed to manage and mitigate market impacts.

    Risk Management Measures: An investment manager and adviser will be appointed to oversee the investment and minimize risks associated with this form of compensation.

    These measures indicate a comprehensive strategy to ensure the effectiveness and fairness of the stock issuance as part of the settlement process.

  5. In an unprecedented development, the 3M earplugs Multi-District Litigation (MDL) has experienced a dramatic increase of over 42,000 cases in the past month alone. This surge represents the largest monthly growth in new case filings not just in this MDL, but possibly in any MDL in history. The influx has escalated the total number of pending cases to 285,758, posing additional challenges to the already complex process of finalizing a global settlement. This significant rise in case volume underscores the growing magnitude and complexity of the 3M earplugs litigation.

  6. In an effort to streamline the proceedings in the extensive 3M earplug litigation, Judge Rodgers has taken decisive action by dismissing a significant number of redundant lawsuits. This move follows her established deadline for resolving issues related to overlapping cases and legal representation. Consequently, for claimants with multiple filings, only the first lawsuit filed is being maintained, resulting in the dismissal — with prejudice — of all subsequent suits. This purge effectively removes 3,548 cases from the court's docket, bringing greater clarity and efficiency to the management of the remaining active cases.

  7. In an update from earlier this month, Judge Rodgers required certain claimants who hadn't included complete contact details in their Identification Order Declarations to submit updated email addresses and cell phone numbers to the Settlement Data Administrator by October 12, 2023.

    This Friday, Judge Rogers outlined specific instructions for two groups of plaintiffs in the litigation. The first group, comprising eight individuals, has been given an extension until November 3, 2023, to furnish the required contact information. Failure to comply within this timeframe will result in the dismissal of their cases, as they would be in continued violation of the Court’s orders.

    For the second group, involving 39 plaintiffs, their cases have already been dismissed for various reasons. The final procedural action for these cases, as outlined by Judge Rogers, involves deactivating their Plaintiff Identification Details (PIDs) in the MDL-Centrality system. This task is designated to the Settlement Data Administrator.

  8. Scammers are attempting to defraud claimants involved in the $6 billion settlement related to 3M combat earplugs, which are alleged to have caused hearing damage. Judge Rodgers issued a warning about fraudulent actors posing as Archer Systems employees, the company administering the settlement. They are cold-calling claimants, requesting sensitive information such as social security numbers and dates of birth. Judge Rodgers declared these calls a scam and alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Archer Systems uses a specific contact number for claimants, which scammers have spoofed to appear legitimate.

  9. A federal magistrate judge has cautioned attorneys representing plaintiffs about possible sanctions if they continue to inundate the court with repetitive claims and filings. These superfluous submissions have been cited as a drain on court resources, complicating the timely resolution of cases related to the 3M combat earplugs.

  10. Despite the absence of a finalized settlement with service members, 3M has proactively retracted several appeals in the Eleventh Circuit related to its combat earplugs. The appeals court has acceded to 3M's motion to dismiss the primary cases.

  11. Veterans can be reassured that they are not obligated to reimburse the VA for benefits or subject their recoveries to VA liens. However, costs incurred through private health insurers or non-VA healthcare providers must be settled using the funds from their settlement. Fortunately, claimants won't be responsible for repaying the full amounts. A lien questionnaire will be provided post-registration, which Archer will utilize to negotiate and potentially reduce any outstanding liens.

  12. Some frustration has been voiced by victims receiving communications from Archer (Brown Greer) rather than their attorneys. As per Judge Rodgers' directive, Archer is the designated Settlement Administrator for the 3M earplug settlement, and lawyers have relayed contact information in compliance with this order. While interaction with Archer is intentional, claimants are encouraged to remain in open dialogue with their lawyers regarding their options.

  13. The current standing in the 3M earplugs Multi-District Litigation (MDL) shows 242,604 pending cases, marking a reduction of over 12,000 since early summer. This decrease isn't tied to the newly disclosed settlement agreement. Instead, it's attributed to necessary docket control strategies recently employed by Judge Rogers.

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