3M Board Approves $6 Billion Earplug Settlement
3M’s board approved a $6 billion settlement to resolve claims that its earplugs caused hearing loss among veterans, putting a long-awaited price tag on a large chunk of the company’s legal troubles. The settlement, which people familiar with the matter said will be paid out over multiple years, is substantially less than the $10 billion to $15 billion some analysts expected. 3M shares climbed Monday after news of the initial settlement terms was reported over the weekend. Veterans allege that 3M and Aearo Technologies, a company 3M acquired in 2008, produced faulty earplugs that failed to protect their hearing from noise damage after they were issued by the U.S. military. 3M has said the earplugs work correctly when used with proper training.