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In a significant development, 3M has announced the go-ahead for a $6 billion settlement concerning its military earplugs, which were alleged to cause hearing damage during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The deal’s approval came after nearly 250,000 veterans and service members, representing 99% of claimants, agreed to the terms, surpassing the required 98% acceptance rate. The average payout is expected to be roughly $10,000 each.

P 1 90946698 3m Earplug Settlement Company Agrees To Pay 6 Billion Over Claims It Sold Defective Earplugs To Us Military

The controversy centered around the Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2, provided to troops from 2003 to 2015. Veterans argued that the earplugs were defectively designed, allowing them to loosen and fail to protect against loud noises, leading to hearing loss or tinnitus. While some individual cases had seen mixed verdicts, the vast majority remained unresolved until this settlement. Despite agreeing to the settlement, 3M has consistently denied liability, maintaining that the earplugs were effective when used as intended.

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Bryan Aylstock, a lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said he was satisfied with the level of support from both active-duty service members and veterans. However, not all reactions have been positive. A faction within the veteran community feels the settlement falls short of adequately compensating for their suffering.

If you were in the military and are interested in seeing if you qualify for the compensation, you can click here.


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