By Will Feuer


3M has agreed to pay $6 billion in a combination of cash and stock through 2029 to settle allegations that its Aearo Technologies subsidiary made faulty earplugs for the U.S. military that failed to protect soldiers' hearing.

3M said it will pay $5 billion in cash and $1 billion in stock between 2023 and 2029 to settle the allegations, confirming an earlier report from The Wall Street Journal, which said the company's board had approved a $6 billion, multi-year settlement.

The manufacturing conglomerate said its settlement is not an admission of liability. "The products at issue in this litigation are safe and effective when used properly," 3M said.

The company will book a pre-tax charge of $4.2 billion in the third quarter. 3M said it is seeking insurance recovery to offset some of the settlement payments. Aearo, a company 3M bought in 2008, is suing its insurance carriers related to the litigation.

3M said it will hold a conference call at 9 a.m. ET.

In a statement, lawyers for the veterans who have sued 3M said they are proud to have obtained the settlement. "This historic agreement represents a tremendous victory for the thousands of men and women who bravely served our country and returned home with life-altering hearing injuries," they said.


Write to Will Feuer at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 29, 2023 07:04 ET (11:04 GMT)

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