3M Can't Duck Earplug Suit With Gov't Contract Preemption

Law360 (July 27, 2020, 2:20 PM EDT) -- A Florida federal judge has ruled that 3M Co. can't escape allegations that it sold defective earplugs by arguing its government contract preempts those claims, saying the company has failed to show the military exercised any real control over the earplugs' design.

In an order filed Friday, U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers sided with military members in the multidistrict litigation, rejecting 3M's argument that its predecessor, Aearo Technologies LLC, was exempt from civil claims in the suit on the basis of its contract with the government.

According to Friday's order, while the military certainly wanted and bought the Combat Arms...

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