A federal judge sanctioned 3M for abruptly switching its liability arguments in the combat earplug litigation in a move she called a “brazen abuse of the litigation process” and the “epitome of bad faith.”

U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers of the Northern District of Florida ordered that 3M could not argue going forward that its subsidiary, Aearo Technologies, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 26, was the sole defendant liable for the allegedly defective earplugs. Lawsuits alleged the earplugs caused hearing loss and ringing of the ears.

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