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3M Keeps 5,700 Service Members’ Earplug Claims in Federal Court

Jan. 23, 2020, 5:22 PM

More than 5,700 hearing-loss claims against 3M Co. and a related company over allegedly defective combat earplugs used in the U.S. military will remain in consolidated federal litigation in Florida.

3M and Aearo Technologies LLC presented a plausible government contractor defense, Judge M. Casey Rodgers of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida said Wednesday. She denied the plaintiffs’ request to send the cases back to state court in Minnesota, where 3M is based.

Most of the suits in the consolidated litigation were brought by current and former service members alleging tinnitus or hearing loss, and some ...

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