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3M™ Company Agrees to Pay $9.1 Million to Resolve Allegations

That it Supplied the United States With Defective Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs.

The Department of Justice announced that 3M™ Company (3M) has agreed to pay $9.1 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold the dual-ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2) to the United States military without disclosing defects that hampered the effectiveness of the hearing protection device.   

The settlement resolves allegations that 3M™ violated the False Claims Act by selling or causing to be sold defective earplugs to the Defense Logistics Agency. Specifically, the United States alleged that 3M™, and its predecessor, Aearo Technologies, Inc., knew the CAEv2 was too short for proper insertion into users’ ears and that the earplugs could loosen imperceptibly and therefore did not perform well for certain individuals. The United States further alleged that 3M™ did not disclose this design defect to the military.