3M Subsidiary Appeals Bankruptcy Plan Denial

3M Subsidiary Appeals Bankruptcy Plan Denial

Bankruptcy won't shield 3M's subsidiary Aearo Technologies from continued litigation over earplugs, a federal judge has ruled.

3M Co. subsidiary Aearo Technologies is appealing a ruling by a federal judge’s ruling that military veterans can continue litigating despite a bankruptcy filing.

Indianapolis-based U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jeffrey Graham denied Aearo Technologies’ request for a preliminary injunction to the ongoing litigation against 3M.

Prior to the ruling, the Maplewood-based manufacturing giant and its bankrupt subsidiaries had requested a stay of multi-district litigation (MDL). Essentially, the company requested a pause in litigation over several lawsuits filed by multiple people claiming they suffered the same injury by the same defendants.

Aearo Technologies and 3M voiced disagreement with the ruling in an August 26 news release. A notice of appeal to the ruling was filed Monday.

“Aearo will continue in the Chapter 11 proceedings, which it believes will offer a more efficient, equitable, and expeditious pathway to resolution of these matters for all parties. 3M also will continue to vigorously defend its position in the multi-district litigation and in its appeals in that litigation,” the release states.

In 2018, 3M agreed to a $9.1 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in response to allegations of defective product sales. The government accused 3M and its predecessor company, Aearo Technologies Inc., of knowingly selling dysfunctional Combat Army Earplugs to the military.

The settlement, however, did not prove 3M was at fault, as the company’s payment settled the dispute before a conclusive determination of liability.

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