© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: 3M Global Headquarters in Maplewood, Minnesota
(Reuters) – 3M Co was found liable on Friday for hearing damage suffered by three US military veterans who accused the company of covering up design flaws in their earplugs, a blow to 3M that faces 200,000 similar lawsuits. The company was accused of hiding design flaws, altering test results, and failing to instruct the military on the proper use of earplugs, which were used by the Army between 2007 and 2013. 3M said in a statement after the verdict that did not believe the plaintiffs. met its burden by showing that the plugs were faulty or negligent designed or that the plugs caused injury. The company said it believed there were multiple grounds for appeal. “We remain confident in our case and are ready to defend ourselves against the plaintiffs’ allegations in future trials,” 3M said. 3M shares fell 1.2% after the verdict, trading at $ 196.64 on the New York Stock Exchange.