A federal judge has approved a $6 billion settlement in the 3M earplug lawsuits, according to recent news. The settlement aims to compensate service members who allege that the company’s combat earplugs were defective and caused hearing damage. The approval of the settlement involves the issuance of $1 billion in unregistered stock, which will be determined using a weighted average method. The stock will be issued in tranches to minimize the risk of stock dilution.
As part of the settlement, 3M has contributed $250 million to a Qualified Settlement Fund, which will provide compensation to veterans who choose to accept smaller, quicker payments. The fairness of the settlement has been a point of concern, particularly regarding the transfer of $1 billion in stock. However, a former SEC commissioner expressed confidence in the fairness of the transfer, stating that it was negotiated at arm’s length and based on 3M’s reliable market value.
In a separate development, a federal judge has decided not to sanction two attorneys who were accused of violating an order during closing arguments in a bellwether trial. The attorneys challenged the sanctions, and although the appeals court overturned them on technical issues, the judge ultimately dropped the case.
The settlement has generated a lot of discussion and questions among veterans and plaintiffs. There has been speculation about the percentage of people who will choose the expedited settlement, which will impact how the money is allocated. Estimates range from 70% to 90%, but it remains to be seen how many will opt for the quicker payment option.
Despite some uncertainty and speculation surrounding the settlement, veterans groups have shown support for the deal. The settlement is expected to bring closure to the litigation and provide compensation to those affected by the alleged defective earplugs. The settlement process may take time, and the exact payment dates for individual claimants are still uncertain.
Overall, the settlement represents a significant development in the 3M earplug lawsuits, providing a potential resolution for thousands of veterans seeking compensation for hearing damage. The case count in the MDL remains relatively steady, with new cases being filed and dismissed. The settlement is subject to the participation of a majority of plaintiffs and will likely undergo further legal processes before becoming finalized.