Court hearings next week could probe 3M’s liability position in thousands of lawsuits over combat earplugs—including a federal judge’s potential sanctions over the company’s “litigation conduct,” and a bankrupt subsidiary’s request to retain its law firm, Kirkland & Ellis.

U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers wrote in an order she was considering sanctions that would prevent 3M from arguing that it was not liable in the lawsuits because its subsidiary, Aearo Technologies, now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, sold the earplugs.

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