Court Sides with U.S. Veterans and Denies 3M Bankruptcy Injunction Relief
Contact: David Selby, Partner and Mass Tort Practice Group Leader, (205) 835-9906
August 26, 2022: In a significant win for U.S. veterans across the country, a United States bankruptcy judge in Indiana refused to support 3M Co.’s attempt to temporarily stop more than 230,000 lawsuits related to 3M’s defective earplugs from moving forward. These lawsuits accuse 3M and its bankrupt subsidiary, Aearo Technologies LLC, of selling faulty combat earplugs that damaged the hearing of veterans who used them.
Last month, 3M attempted to assign all their liabilities related to the Combat Ear Plug litigation to Aearo Technologies, and then, in a matter of days, placed the subsidiary into bankruptcy and sought a stay of all proceedings as to 3M while the bankruptcy progressed.
This sham tactic is an attempt to use insolvency proceedings as a way to impede jury trials related to their defective earplug products.
Last week the bankruptcy court held a three-day trial on the Preliminary Injunction. Bailey Glasser, along with the law firms of KTBS Law, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, Caplin & Drysdale, Fishman Haygood, LLP, Seeger Weiss, and Otterbourg, PC, represented the soldiers in successfully defeating the 3M Injunction.
The bankruptcy court denied the request for a preliminary injunction to stop the 230,000 lawsuits by recognizing that although the subsidiary declared bankruptcy, the parent company did not deserve those protections.
The court held, “an injunction … should issue only in extraordinary circumstances where it is ‘necessary or appropriate’ to carry out the provisions of the Code … Having found no such effect in light of the Funding Agreement, the Court finds no basis upon which to invoke its powers.”
“Justice was served today,” said founding partner Brian Glasser. “These veterans are entitled to their day in court and do not deserve to have a multi-billion-dollar company attempt to crush their rights by manipulating the bankruptcy code. Today’s ruling is a great first step in addressing the overreaching actions of corporations. The recent bankruptcy filings of 3M and Johnson & Johnson, two of American’s largest and most profitable companies, are nothing short of sham litigation tactics that must be stopped.”
Bailey Glasser has been at the forefront of opposing the recent corporate bankruptcies that attempt to circumvent the due process rights of injured women and men.