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3M’s Failed Legal Move Leaves Firm Back With Judge It Criticized

  • 3M blames judge for lawsuit morass that could cost it billions
  • Judge orders company to return to Florida court for mediation
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3M Co., facing more than 200,000 lawsuits accusing it of harming soldiers with defective combat earplugs, opens a new round of mediation Thursday overseen by the same federal judge the industrial conglomerate has been feuding with since July.

The company blames US District Court Judge M. Casey Rodgers for letting a multibillion-dollar legal problem become so intractable that one of 3M’s units filed bankruptcy in a failed effort to get the suits away from her. Rodgers accuses 3M of trying to undermine the biggest multi-district litigation (MDL) in US history and pledged to investigate the company’s motives.