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3M Earplug Lawsuit Updates

Posted on: December 25, 2023

PN Editor
December 25, 2023

3M Earplug Lawsuit Updates

Latest Developments on the 3M Earplug Lawsuit and Settlement

This page serves as a constantly updated source of the latest news and developments regarding the 3M earplug lawsuits and the settlement agreements reached in 2023. Although we are no longer accepting new cases for the 3M earplug lawsuits, we aim to provide up-to-date information for those interested.

3M Earplug Lawsuit News

December 12, 2023: 

During the fairness hearing held today, concerns were raised by a veteran set to participate in the settlement over the possibility that 3M might declare bankruptcy. This action could influence a critical piece of the settlement that includes the transfer of $1 billion worth of 3M stock. However, a former SEC commissioner reassured the fairness of the stock transfer, noting that the negotiation was performed at arm’s length. Additionally, 3M’s status as a well-established publicly traded company ensures a reliable market value for the stock. The settlement fund would receive the shares in question, which could then be promptly sold, with specific conditions to reduce the risk of stock dilution. It is my assessment that it is improbable that Judge Rodgers will alter this agreement.

December 6, 2023: 

Judge Rodgers has reached a decision to reject revisiting the potential sanctions against two Dechert LLP attorneys. Prior to this, Judge Rodgers had issued a sanction of $12,000 against the pair for purportedly contravening her directive regarding the presentation of evidence during closing arguments in a bellwether trial. The considerable billing rates of these lawyers is well-known, equating to $12,000 just for the start of their day. Nevertheless, they chose to contest the sanctions in the 11th Circuit, which resulted in the reversal of the sanctions on grounds of technicalities, such as the lack of appropriate notice and the absence of a formal declaration by the judge of subjective bad faith on the attorneys’ part. Consequently, the 11th Circuit referred the matter back to Judge Rodgers, who decided to let bygones be bygones and is discontinuing the issue.

November 28, 2023: 

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that the new VA disability rates for 2024 will take effect on December 1, 2023. Disabled veterans are set to benefit from a 3.2% COLA increase to their compensation, starting January 2024.


Important Update on Combat Arms Earplugs Litigation

November 27, 2023: A recent judicial directive has modified prior orders regarding the administration of the Combat Arms Earplugs Settlement Funds. ARCHER Systems, LLC has been replaced by BrownGreer PLC, with the latter now serving as a co-administrator in collaboration with CPA Randall L. Sansom. BrownGreer will be engaging in all required operations for the oversight of both the Qualified Settlement Fund (QSF) and the Common Benefit Qualified Settlement Fund (CB QSF). ARCHER will no longer have any duties or responsibilities in this aspect of the litigation.

Although the detailed reasons behind this change were not disclosed, it is important to note that BrownGreer has prior involvement in this legal matter, which suggests a seamless transition in the administration of these funds.

Understanding Comments and Settlement Support

November 24, 2023: We value the discussions and the sharing of perspectives in the comments section that can be found below. It serves as a resource for those seeking first-hand information and insights. However, it has come to our attention that numerous comments advocating for the 3M earplug settlement lack substantive content and may not contribute value to the conversation. Going forward, to maintain the integrity of the discourse, comments perceived as non-authentic will be removed.

New Deadlines Announced for Master Settlement Agreement

November 19, 2023: The court has instituted a Deadline Registration Order outlining pivotal dates associated with the Combat Arms Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). Pertinent deadlines have now been established:

  • For MSA I, an initial registration deadline of January 25, 2024, followed by a final cutoff date of March 25, 2024.
  • For MSA III, the initial registration must be completed by December 20, 2023, and final submissions by February 20, 2024.
Contact Information for Further Queries

If you require any additional information or assistance regarding these updates, please do not hesitate to reach out to Pusch & Nguyen at 833-787-4946 for personalized guidance and support.


Update on 3M Earplugs Multidistrict Litigation

Recent Case Developments

November 18, 2023: 

Over the last 30 days, the 3M earplugs MDL has seen an addition of 42,647 new cases. Our updates have continually informed of such case increments; however, it is important to clarify that despite the concluded settlement, these are not late settlements but rather an updated accounting of prior actions.

November 17, 2023: 

The Fairness Hearing has been scheduled for 10:00 a.m. EST on December 11, 2023.

November 7, 2023: 

Judge Rodgers has implemented measures to streamline the 3M earplug MDL further by eliminating numerous duplicate claims subsequent to the October 11 deadline. This ensures that only the initial filing for each claimant is considered, significantly reducting case numbers following the dismissal of 3,548 unresolved claims.

October 30, 2023: 

An order by Judge Rogers addresses two distinct groups of plaintiffs. One group is mandated to provide their up-to-date contact information by November 3, 2023, failing which their cases will be dismissed. Conversely, for claimants on a second list with previously dismissed cases, the order’s only remaining action is to terminate their PIDs in the MDL system.

October 17, 2023: 

Judge Rodgers has issued a caution regarding scammers targeting claimants in the $6 billion settlement over hearing loss allegations due to 3M combat earplugs. After identifying fraudulent attempts to impersonate settlement administrators from Archer Systems LLC, Judge Rodgers has involved federal law enforcement and stressed the importance of vigilance among claimants. She further instructs those contacted by these scammers to consult with plaintiff’s counsel, now under Pusch & Nguyen law firm, to address the issue and engage with authorities.

October 11, 2023: 

In efforts to maintain judicial efficiency, a federal judge has alerted legal representatives of military veterans and members about repercussions for making redundant claims. U.S. Magistrate Judge Hope Cannon has expressed determination to impose sanctions for continued non-compliance with court directives aimed at conserving court resources.\

Analysis of Settlement Participation Rates and Estimated Timelines

Anticipated Acceptance of the Expedited Settlement

October 10, 2023:  A critical factor in the allocation of settlement funds is the proportion of claimants who will opt for the expedited settlement process. Current predictions range from 70% to 90%; however, the opinions found in our comment section may not accurately represent the broader claimant population. Those who comment tend to have stronger claims and are therefore more engaged in the litigation process. The true acceptance rate will become clear as the situation develops.

Timeline for Settlement Payments

October 5, 2023:  Revisiting the topic of “When Will I Get Paid under the Expedited Program?” we face uncertainty. According to the latest insights from Archer, the specific timelines for payment to individual plaintiffs are not yet determined. Notably, expedited payments could begin distribution as soon as December 2023. Archer projects that by the end of 2024, half of the claimants will have been compensated, with the complete dispersal of funds anticipated by May 30, 2025. These projections are hopeful, emphasizing the importance of delivering on promises sooner rather than later.

Legal and Personal Recommendations for Claimants

October 3, 2023:  Despite the challenges, the settlement agreement is something we advocate for our clients. As per section 8.1.2 of the MSA, we are compelled to propose the settlement agreement to all eligible claimants. While some may question the credibility of such advice, it is not a requirement for me to share these insights online. Furthermore, opting out of the settlement does not appear to be a beneficial strategy for those seeking to maximize their financial recovery from this litigation. To date, no law firm, including Pusch & Nguyen, has been cited as willing to represent veterans on a contingency basis for opt-out cases.

The emotions surrounding the settlement, particularly frustration and disappointment, are understandable. Justice for the victims is complex, and discussions about the appropriateness of the settlement agreement persist. Moving forward, individuals must consider the best course of action for themselves and their loved ones, recognizing the permanence of what has already transpired. Ultimately, the settlement pathway stands as the sole viable option in many of our professional opinions.


Legal Advisory Notice

(Please note that this communication is intended to provide general information and is not a substitute for legal advice. You should consult with your attorney for advice pertaining to your specific situation.)

Understanding the Expedited Payment Point System

October 2, 2023: 

Plaintiffs have expressed inquiries regarding the operational details of the point system and the timing for the distribution of payments. Although full disclosure of the point system’s mechanics has not been made available, we have obtained preliminary information pertinent to the structure of expedited payments, with projected disbursements anticipated for the following year:

  • Tinnitus Only: $5,000 – Compensation designated for claims involving tinnitus without corroborative contemporaneous records and no confirmable compensable hearing loss.
  • Documented Tinnitus: $10,000 – The award for tinnitus substantiated by medical diagnosis or treatment sought within two years subsequent to the final usage of the earplugs.
  • Slight Hearing Loss: $10,000 – This category applies to cases with 15 db Hearing Loss at any single testing frequency.
  • Mild Hearing Loss: $16,000 – Pertains to hearing loss between 20 db and 35 db at any single testing frequency.
  • Moderate or Greater Hearing Loss: $24,000 – Allocated for cases presenting with 40db or more hearing loss at any single testing frequency.

In the event a claim qualifies under multiple categories within the expedited payment system, the benefits from each category are not cumulative. Rather, the recipient will be granted the highest singular value of the applicable awards. For example, eligibility under both documented tinnitus and moderate hearing loss criteria will secure an award of $24,000, rather than a combined total of $34,000.

Future Payout Schedules for the Full Evaluation Program

The schedule for payouts in relation to the comprehensive evaluation program will be publicly disclosed at a forthcoming date.


Settlement Options and Legal Considerations

When considering which settlement option aligns best with your individual circumstances, personalized legal counsel is paramount. It is my professional stance that the vast majority of claimants may gravitate towards the expedited payment route—this preference, however, is more often swayed by the allure of immediate financial relief rather than the benefits of a delayed, yet potentially more advantageous payout. Thus, such a crucial decision should be deliberated in conjunction with the trusted advice of your attorney.

Legal Community Transparency and Discussion

September 28, 2023:  The discourse among commenters indicates a willingness by legal representatives to confront the stringent demands of CMO #57. Despite this, specifics regarding attorneys prepared to accept ‘opt-out’ cases from non-client plaintiffs remain elusive. In the spirit of transparency, I urge those conversant with such attorneys to divulge their identities. Any practitioners in search of cases would certainly appreciate the mention. Without this clarifying information, there’s a concern that perceptions of a readily available pool of eager attorneys may be inadvertently misleading.

I firmly hold that choosing to opt out of the collective settlement is unlikely to pave the way to a more substantial individual recovery.

Clarification on Wave Cases

September 26, 2023:  The prospect of higher settlements in Wave cases has generated significant curiosity. To clarify, identification as a Wave case participant typically implies involvement in extensive case-specific discovery processes, including but not limited to depositions. Those affected would be distinctly aware of their participation in such detailed proceedings.

Contact Information

Should you require further assistance or wish to discuss your legal options, please do not hesitate to reach out to Pusch & Nguyen at 833-787-4946.



Our apologies for the recent temporary closure of the comment section. The disruption was unintended, and allegations that the page was shut down to stifle questioning are unfounded. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Court Order Compliance and Deadline Notices

September 23, 2023: 
Judge Rodgers expressed frustration via Court Management Order (CMO) #68 regarding the lack of essential information, such as social security numbers and birth dates in Identification Order Declarations. This oversight is in contravention of CMO #60, provoking the Judge’s displeasure.

All parties responsible for submitting inaccurate or incomplete documents are mandated to amend the information by
Monday, September 25, 2023. Failure to comply by this date will result in the dismissal of their claims without any additional notice.

September 22, 2023: 
In a subsequent development, Judge Rodgers introduced CMO #69, amending previous requirements and revising the timeline for document submission in legal proceedings. Specifically, this order supersedes the stipulations previously outlined in Pretrial Order Nos. 18 and 81 and CMO #40, in light of a recent settlement agreement.

To ensure a smooth continuation of the process, the court has instituted new deadlines for the submission of complete and accurate information:

  • Claimants listed on the court’s docket as of August 29, 2023, who were bound by a census form deadline, must submit fully accurate census forms through MDL Centrality by Thursday, October 5, 2023.
  • For other claimants, census and DD214 forms should be provided in accordance with Identification Order Declarations: within 14 days of claim recognition, and no later than September 26, 2023.

A deficiency protocol is active, where parties will receive notification of their documents’ insufficiencies and must rectify said deficiencies within a 14-day timeframe.

The Settlement Data Administrator has been empowered to manage these documents and handle any deficiencies. Non-compliance or failure to correct the deficiencies by the specified deadlines may result in case dismissal without further proceedings.

Responsibility Admission by 3M

September 20, 2023: 
Among veterans, there is considerable dissatisfaction due to 3M’s refusal to acknowledge responsibility in the recent settlement.


3M Litigation: The Delicate Balance of Admitting Guilt

An acknowledgment of culpability was never considered as part of the settlement negotiations. Recognizing fault would potentially enable claimants to leverage such admission to their advantage, opting out and proceeding based on 3M’s own admission. While it remains uncertain if such an admission would be admissible in court, it would undeniably provide the plaintiffs with substantial leverage against 3M. Furthermore, 3M has consistently and emphatically denied accountability, a position that has been reiterated to their shareholders throughout the litigation – admitting guilt now would create a significant public relations challenge.

It is worth noting that it’s quite rare for defendants to concede liability in the context of mass tort settlements, not just in the case of 3M.

Recent Developments in the 3M Earplug MDL

Case Updates

September 18, 2023: As of this week, the active plaintiff count in the 3M earplug multidistrict litigation (MDL) stands at 242,604, a decrease of 12,000 from just three months prior. This reduction is not associated with the recent settlement; rather, it is the result of case dismissals in line with Judge Rogers’ efforts to manage the docket.

Settlement Confusion

September 13, 2023: The details and mechanics of the pending settlement remain unclear, prompting questions and uncertainty even among seasoned professionals with close ties to the case. This calls for a patient approach as the situation continues to evolve.

Community Engagement

September 10, 2023: Reflecting on the decision to allow comments on this platform, it has proven to be invaluable. The wealth of knowledge and genuine accounts from individuals affected by the case have been insightful, illuminating aspects of the litigation and providing clarity to others. The implementation of this feature has had a measurable positive impact.

Litigation Proceedings

September 9, 2023: The latest hearing passed without significant incidents or developments, as highlighted by attendees. The points system necessary for settlement distribution is still pending establishment. A definitive answer to how the initial settlement agreement will affect the amount of money available for distribution is necessary to understand the financial impact on the plaintiffs in the long term.

An advantageous aspect of the settlement is the absence of a ‘clawback’ provision, which typically allows for the reclamation of unallocated funds by the defense. Instead, in this scenario, all of the allocated $6.05 billion is slated for distribution to the plaintiffs, ensuring a comprehensive disbursement of the entire sum. While this is not the standard for all mass tort settlements, the full utilization of the funds for the benefit of the claimants in this case is assured.

A video recording of the proceedings, exceptionally available for public viewing, can be accessed through the provided link.

MDL Settlement Updates

September 5, 2023: Reassessment of the Minnesota Lawsuit Inclusion

In a recent turn of events that defied my prior expectations, I have learned that the current litigation has evolved in ways I did not anticipate. Contrary to my initial belief, the non-military Minnesota lawsuit is now enveloped within the ongoing settlement discussions. This stems from a decision by Judge Rodgers, who has issued a revision to Case Management Order No. 62 (ECF No. 3827). Her latest order expands the inclusion criteria for Minnesota cases within the MDL’s Administrative Docket until October 2, 2023. As a result, any related cases filed and/or served by August 29, 2023, can be integrated into the MDL proceedings.

September 4, 2023: Speculations on Tiered Settlements

As discussions continue around the potential $8,333.33 fast-track settlement, it’s becoming clear that these anticipated settlements may be structured in tiers reflective of each plaintiff’s extent of injuries. While this remains speculative, based on insights from our community comments section, we recognize the importance of this consideration. As soon as concrete details are available, we are committed to bringing them to light. We wish everyone observing Labor Day a pleasant and restful holiday.

September 1, 2023: Upcoming Case Management Conference

An important Case Management Conference is slated to convene on Friday, September 8, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. (CDT) presided over by Judge Rodgers. The conference will primarily discuss the progression of the 3M earplug settlement program.

August 31, 2023: Possible Implications of Opt-Outs

The recent Bloomberg publication has fueled discussions regarding the potential impact of plaintiffs opting out of the 3M earplug settlement. While a significant cause for concern is not unanimously perceived, varying perspectives are emerging amongst our readers. Notably, I posit that the most compelling claims will likely exceed settlement expectations. A possibly high non-participation rate due to administrative paperwork requirements could, paradoxically, increase settlement values for the participating plaintiffs. This scenario underscores the importance of effective communication and engagement between administrators and plaintiffs during the settlement process.

Understanding the Pros and Cons of the Settlement

In the United States, the freedom to make choices is a fundamental principle, and it is no different when it comes to legal settlements. The plaintiffs in this litigation have paved the way for such autonomy. It is imperative that individuals consider their unique circumstances closely and collaborate with their legal counsel to comprehend the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision. It is anticipated that, despite any lingering resentment, a significant majority of veterans—likely exceeding 98%—will conclude that participating in the settlement aligns with their best interests. As the situation evolves, further insights should become available in the upcoming weeks.

August 30, 2023: 

Notably, veterans’ organizations have expressed their support. The Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, a body representing 5.5 million veterans, alongside the Military Order of the Purple Heart, which speaks for upwards of 45,000 wounded veterans, have publicly endorsed the agreement. This endorsement, as reported by Bloomberg, indicates a positive reception within the veterans’ community, although there have been contradictory statements challenging this narrative.

August 29, 2023: 

In recent developments, 3M disseminated an official announcement this morning and filed a disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission, thereby confirming the overarching details of the earplugs settlement agreement. 3M has agreed to allocate a massive sum of $6 billion to a fund designated for settling claims, which will be distributed to claimants over a series of years. The SEC documentation provides verification that the settlement has received approval from 3M’s board of directors.

Key Terms of the Settlement Deal

The settlement terms dictate that 3M reserves the right to rescind the offer if there is not a minimum of 98% participation among claimants—an ambitious and arguably unrelenting threshold. For those who choose to expedite their settlement, an amount of $8,333.33 can be received prior to fees and costs, and disbursement could happen as early as the current year, an approach by 3M intended to incentivize early claim resolution.

Role of the Settlement Administrator

A pivotal role in this process falls to the Settlement Administrator, whose responsibility it is to affirm that any medical debts directly associated with a claimant’s registered claim are managed appropriately before the dispersal of settlement funds. This ensures all relevant medical expenses are properly addressed, either settled or in process, providing clarity and security for the claimants involved.

For additional and precise legal counsel, consider obtaining guidance from Pusch & Nguyen by contacting their office. Should there be any inaccuracies within this brief, readers are encouraged to provide corrections within the comments section below.


Settlement Registration and Irrevocability

Upon completing and submitting a Registration Form to participate in the settlement, registrants are bound by their decision; subsequently, they have no right to revoke their agreement. This entails that no individual who has registered has the ability to withdraw their form, reclaim their Release or official dismissal document, or exit the settlement without consent from the Defendants. Exceptionally, should the Defendants elected to “Walkaway,” the Settlement Administrator will nullify all releases with the exception of those from the Verdicts Settlement and the Waves Settlement, unless the Defendants renounce those as well. Notably, 3M is committed to the $8,333,333 settlements and shows no intention of retracting.

The designation of John Perry as the special master for the settlement is established.

For plaintiffs who choose not to partake in the expedited settlement option of $8,333.33, the alternative involves a points system process that is yet to be disclosed. This process, overseen by the special master, exists outside of the settlement framework.

Financial and Legal Developments

August 28, 2023: 

Bloomberg’s recent publication builds upon prior articles, contributing additional historical context to the 3M earplug litigation narrative. Concurrently, 3M’s stock experiences a notable uptick of nearly 5% by 2:00 p.m., buoyed by the optimism surrounding the “tentative settlement”.

A source privy to the company’s deliberations, according to Reuters, indicates that 3M’s board of directors is on the cusp of deciding on the proposed settlement. However, Bloomberg, which stands out with its exclusive coverage, observes that substantial uncertainties still shroud the 3M settlement. Even with a deal reached, it must surmount significant legal constraints, such as ample acceptance among plaintiffs. Questions linger why a consensus would form around a $5.5 billion figure when expectations were closer to $10 billion, particularly given 3M’s recent bankruptcy court activities, which likely did not endear the company to plaintiffs. Nevertheless, a comprehensive assessment of the overall deal is required before drawing any conclusions.

Update on Legal Representation by Pusch & Nguyen

Please note that Pusch & Nguyen is no longer accepting new 3M earplug claims. Despite this, we remain committed to providing updates and insights on the latest developments as we have consistently done. For any inquiries, contact us at 833-787-4946.


Update on the 3M Earplug Lawsuits

We acknowledge that some users may be uncertain whether comments can be accessed via mobile devices. However, rest assured that comments are indeed visible on desktop versions. While we may not respond to every comment, please know that we are attentively reading them and valuing your input.

August 27, 2023: Settlement Approaches for 3M Earplug Lawsuits

Bloomberg News has disclosed today that 3M Co. is in advanced discussions to resolve the ongoing earplug litigation. Forbes has corroborated this development by referencing Bloomberg’s report. The prospective settlement amount making headlines is reportedly in the ballpark of $5.5 billion.

Potential Settlement Configurations

Speculation about the impending settlement has been circulating, and we have been forecasting an imminent settlement for some time. It is suggested that a uniform settlement proposition might be extended to claimants with less substantiated claims who are inclined to settle for a lower sum. More intricate claims could be negotiated separately, with thorough evaluations of medical documentation and individual injuries. Nonetheless, this conjecture should be taken with a grain of salt until confirmed.

Further Hypotheses

Further conjecture surrounds the decision-making process at 3M regarding their lawsuit strategy. There is a possibility that 3M might transfer the onus to the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, introducing a potential points-based system complemented by an appeals mechanism. However, this is purely speculative as the exact framework for a 3M earplug settlement has yet to be revealed.

Your opinions matter to us at Pusch & Nguyen. As new information becomes available, we will continue to bring updates. Stay tuned to this space as we remain committed to providing you with the latest details, even beyond the official settlement announcement. Should you have any inquiries or wish to express your thoughts, please Contact Us at 833-787-4946.


3M Earplug Litigation Update

August 24, 2023: The discussion around a possible 3M earplug settlement has not been broached for some time. Given recent developments, we’d like to share our current perspective. The prevailing sentiment suggests that a settlement might be imminent. Although previous resolutions have raised our hopes only to disappoint, the current optimism is unprecedented. A tell-tale sign to look for is the number of law firms ceasing to accept new cases, which could indicate an approaching settlement.

There are various ways a settlement might be structured, yet details are scarce—including speculative average settlement amounts. While we have previously postulated an average settlement at about $50,000, that figure may be exceedingly hopeful. It’s imperative to remember that weaker claims can drag down the median settlement value, whereas claims with substantial and well-documented injuries could command higher settlements.

August 22, 2023: Today, Judge Rodgers handed down three orders leading to the dismissal of several 3M claims. The affected plaintiffs failed to submit necessary paperwork mandatory for sustaining a claim.

August 16, 2023: The MDL currently involves a total of 259,385 cases, with this figure remaining relatively constant due to the simultaneous filing and dismissal of cases. Additional dismissals by Judge Rodgers have occurred, making the actual count somewhat lower.

Engage with the Legal Community

We welcomed our readers back to the comments section two weeks prior, opening a dialogue on this ongoing litigation. Please feel free to share your opinions or explore the insights of other plaintiffs through the 152 comments available. While we may not respond to every inquiry—particularly the specifics of settlements and timelines—we strive to address as many as possible and deem frequent contributors as “trusted users” for immediate comment posting.

August 15, 2023: Further dismissals are on the horizon for plaintiffs who have yet to submit their DD214s. Concurrently, the courtroom corridors are buzzing with settlement rumors, the veracity of which remains undetermined.

August 2, 2023: Judge Rogers opted against dismissing a cohort of over 350 delinquent plaintiffs who are at risk in the 3M earplugs MDL due to unsubmitted legal documentation. These plaintiffs, some of whom failed to provide military service evidence and others who omitted their plaintiff census forms, have been granted yet another opportunity by Judge Rogers. An order has been issued, which states that a failure to submit the necessary documents by August 3, 2023, will result in the dismissal of their cases.

Contact Pusch & Nguyen for Legal Assistance

Should you need further information or wish to discuss your case, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. You can contact Pusch & Nguyen at 833-787-4946 for professional legal counsel.


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