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3M's Lawsuit Hit-Earplug Unit Earns Faster Review For Bankruptcy Ruling

  • Judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago granted 3M Co's (NYSE: MMM) bankrupt subsidiary, Aearo Technologies, a quicker-than-normal process for the review of the bankruptcy-court ruling.

  • The nod puts more than 230,000 lawsuits accusing the company of harming U.S. soldiers on a faster track to resolution.

  • The bankruptcy ruling has allowed personal-injury claims against 3M, which didn't seek chapter 11 protection itself, to continue proceeding on behalf of U.S. military veterans who allege the earplugs didn't work as promised.

  • The claimants blame faulty earplug design for their alleged injuries, while 3M says the earplugs are safe when used correctly.

  • 3M has argued that chapter 11 provides all claimants with an equitable resolution and pays them more quickly and efficiently, Wall Street Journal reported.

  • While the personal injury lawyers have accused 3M of misusing chapter 11 to escape mass lawsuits, it was losing.

  • In August, a federal judge questioned 3M's decision to transfer several claims regarding military earplugs to bankruptcy court, noting that a corporate company "voluntarily agreed" to take on those harm responsibilities before filing for Chapter 11.

  • Price Action: MMM shares are down 4.65% at $108.95 during the premarket session on the last check Friday.

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