July 27, 2020 – A federal judge in Florida has harpooned a key legal defense that 3M planned to use against thousands of lawsuits accusing the company of knowingly making defective earplugs used by U.S. soldiers.
Maplewood-based 3M has denied the allegations and invoked the “government contractor defense,” which shields contractors from tort liability for defects in products designed and developed for the federal government.
3M has claimed that the earplug in question was designed in close collaboration with the military. But U.S. District Court Judge M. Casey Rodgers ruled Friday that there was insufficient evidence “to establish the elements of the government contractors defense” by 3M.
Reference: Hughlett, Mike, 27 July 2020, Judge Says the Maplewood-based Firm Can’t Use the “Government Contractor Defense”, accessed 20 October 2020 https://www.startribune.com/judge-rules-against-key-3m-defense-in-earplug-lawsuit/571921552