US military sues 3M seeking to end subsidiary’s bankruptcy

Current and former US military suing 3M over allegedly defective military earplugs have petitioned a US court to shut down 3M subsidiary Aearo. Technologiesbankruptcyaccusing the company of using bankruptcy protect yourself from litigationwhich turned into the largest mass crime in US history.

A group of military personnel said late on Thursday that Aearo’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy should suffer the same fate as the bankruptcy of the company created by Johnson & Johnson. subsidiary that was used for settle lawsuits that J&J baby powder and other talc products cause cancer. AND The Federal Court of Appeals rejected bankruptcy strategy this week.

3M Co. faces over 230,000 lawsuits for selling defective earplugs that caused hearing loss to the US military members. The company sought to settle these lawsuits through Aearo’s bankruptcy.

3M’s plan faltered when U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jeffrey Graham in Indianapolis ruled that Aearo’s bankruptcy did not prevent lawsuits from being brought against 3M’s parent company, which is not bankrupt. 3M is appealing this decision.

Now the litigants in the military want Graham to go one step further and end Aearo’s bankruptcy completely. In a court filing Thursday, they cited a decision Monday by the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, which dismissed a bankruptcy case filed by J&J subsidiary LTL Management because neither J&J nor LTL were in “financial difficulty.” “.

J&J denies the cancer allegations and is challenging the 3rd Circuit’s decision.

LTL, like Aearo, filed for bankruptcy after agreeing that its non-bankrupt parent company would fund the settlement of bankruptcy lawsuits. These financing agreements undermine the plaintiffs’ argument that 3M and J&J were “hiding assets” from potential creditors, but they also undermine the companies’ argument that they cannot afford to fight lawsuits outside of bankruptcy court.

the committee A spokesman for the military in bankruptcy court said Thursday that the LTL decision “knocks the crutch out of these cases and requires them to be fired.”

“Like J&J, 3M is a multibillion-dollar corporate entity that is not even remotely in financial trouble and therefore should not be able to use bankruptcy against wounded service members,” lawyers for plaintiffs Brian Ailstock and Chris Seeger said in a statement. .

3M said On Friday this will counteract attempts to reverse the bankruptcy. The company denies responsibility, saying its earplugs protect soldiers by allowing them to hear on the battlefield.

The abandonment of Aearo’s bankruptcy would “necessarily disrupt” the settlement talks and force 3M to return to “protracted mass tort litigation that, to date, after sixteen litigations, has brought no clarity or certainty,” 3M said.

3M lost 10 of the 16 cases brought to court, with a total of about $265 million awarded to 13 plaintiffs.

The lawsuits were consolidated in federal court in Florida. Aearo put $1 billion into a trust to settle them and agreed to indemnify 3M for all earplug-related liability.

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