3M and plaintiffs' attorneys are nearing a settlement that would resolve hundreds of thousands of veterans' claims that earplugs made by the company and its subsidiary did not protect them from hearing loss. Under the terms being negotiated, 3M would pay about $5.5 billion.
Negotiations are ongoing and a final amount has not yet been determined.
The earplug lawsuits have become the largest class action in U.S. history, with more than 300,000 claims. Veterans allege that 3M and Aearo Technologies, a company 3M acquired in 2008, manufactured defective products that did not protect their hearing from damage.