People with sleep apnea who rely on CPAP, BiPAP, and other mechanical ventilators know these devices can play a lifesaving role in their nightly routines. However, a manufacturer recall in 2021 left millions of users uncertain about how defective Philips CPAP machines could be affecting their health. Many people are now dealing with serious health challenges after being exposed to harmful chemicals in the devices.
A Philips CPAP mass tort lawyer can help you understand your eligibility to file a lawsuit and seek compensation. You may be able to recover damages for your medical bills and many other losses.
What Is the Philips CPAP Lawsuit About?
Philips is a major manufacturer of CPAP devices, BiPAP machines, and other mechanical ventilators. Many of these machines used a foam product to reduce the noise and sound that emitted from them. However, several issues were discovered with the foam used in certain Philips products.
The polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam in the devices was known to:
- Degrade over time, causing users to potentially inhale tiny particles of PE-PUR foam
- Expose users to carcinogenic chemicals (volatile organic compounds, or VOCs) because PE-PUR foam has toxic off-gassing characteristics
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reports that people harmed by foam particle inhalation may experience skin, eye, or upper respiratory irritation, among other symptoms. Exposure to off-gassing VOCs can also lead to symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and similar forms of respiratory irritation. In worst-case scenarios, exposure to degraded PE-PUR foam can even have cancer-causing effects.
People who are now facing major respiratory concerns or symptoms of cancer are filing lawsuits to hold Philips accountable.
FDA Inspection Exposes Safety Failures
Following the Philips device recall, the FDA launched its own investigation of a Philips manufacturing facility in November 2021.
Among the FDA inspector’s many concerning findings, the report noted that Philips:
- Received over 200,000 consumer complaints regarding the products’ contaminants and foam degradation between 2008 and 2017
- Failed to perform sufficient risk analysis and safety testing after becoming aware of the defects
- Failed to make appropriate corrections to the design of certain CPAP devices after becoming aware of the defects
- Had no data or documentation in place to control the quality of foam received from its suppliers
- Had formaldehyde emissions present in DreamStation 1 devices
The FDA is still developing formal conclusions based on this initial report. Still, these findings demonstrate the extent of Philips’ negligence and show that Philips knowingly exposed users to an unsafe product.
Timeline of Events in the Philips CPAP Lawsuit
Since the Philips recall, many significant events related to the lawsuit have already occurred:
- April 2021: Philips first notifies the public of potential risks due to the foam
- June 2021: Philips recalls certain CPAP machines (FDA)
- October 2021: The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) approves the consolidation of existing Philips lawsuits into a multidistrict litigation (MDL)
- February 2022: Lead counsel is appointed to represent plaintiffs’ interests in the lawsuit against Philips
Dates have not yet been set for the first trials in the case.
What Is the Current Status of the Philips CPAP Mass Tort?
Currently, the case against Philips is consolidated as MDL No. 3014, and litigation will be based in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Pennsylvania. This MDL brings together hundreds of cases from across the country, and thousands more are expected to join.
In multidistrict litigation, many similar lawsuits against a common plaintiff are brought into one action to streamline litigation. Plaintiffs maintain their own individual lawsuits, even though their case is grouped among other similar cases. Therefore, plaintiffs can seek damages based on the unique severity of their injuries and losses.
The next major step in the Philips MDL case will be bellwether trials. Bellwether trials are the first trials to take place in an MDL, and they are used to assess the strength of the plaintiffs’ claims and potential for damages. Again, the first bellwether trial dates have not yet been set.
What Kinds of Settlements Could Be Expected?
It is challenging to give an estimate of the potential settlement value of the Philips CPAP lawsuits. After all, these settlements are typically based on the unique situation of each plaintiff. Additionally, the jury will consider the strength of the evidence in the case as well as arguments presented by the defendants.
In general, the amount of compensation a victim could seek in a product liability case like the Philips MDL depends on several factors, such as:
- The severity of the injuries caused by a Philips CPAP, BiPAP, or other mechanical ventilator
- How well the evidence in the case links the victim’s injuries to a defective Philips device
- The cost of the medical care needed to treat the injuries
- Whether Philips’ actions (or inactions) are deemed to be especially careless or egregious
If you work with a Philips CPAP mass tort attorney, they can explain how much they will try to seek in your case.
Who Is Affected by the CPAP Mass Tort?
Anyone who was harmed by a recalled Philips CPAP device may be affected by the CPAP mass tort. To be eligible to file a lawsuit, you will need evidence that shows:
- You used a Philips CPAP machine as intended
- You suffered health complications as a direct result, such as respiratory illness or cancer
- You also suffered damages as a direct result, such as medical bills or lost wages
You may not yet know if your health condition is related to a defective CPAP device. If so, speak with a doctor about your symptoms immediately (if you have not done so already).
You may also want to contact a Philips CPAP mass tort lawyer for guidance and information. At KJT Law Group, our injury law firm will offer you a free case review. During this time, you can discuss your health situation and your legal options to file suit.
Symptoms You May Experience After Using Affected Devices
According to the FDA, there are a variety of symptoms that users of defective Philips CPAP, BiPAP, or other mechanical ventilators may experience. These include:
- Upper airway irritation
- Irritation of the eyes, nose, or skin
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sinus infection
- Chest pressure
After exposure to the toxins in PE-PUR foam, device users may also be diagnosed with cancer or other serious illnesses, including:
- Lung cancer
- Nasal cancer
- Liver cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Myeloid leukemia
- Lung damage
- Respiratory failure
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
Many other forms of cancer have been reported among people filing CPAP lawsuits. If you do not see your health condition on this list, you could still be eligible to file suit.
What Devices Were Recalled?
The recalled Philips devices include:
- A-Series BiPAP Hybrid A30
- A-Series BiPAP V30 Auto (ventilator)
- A-Series BiPAP A30
- A-Series BiPAP A40 (ventilator)
- C-Series ASV (ventilator)
- C-Series S/T and AVAPS
- Dorma 400
- Dorma 500
- DreamStation ASV
- DreamStation Go
- DreamStation ST, AVAPS
- Garbin Plus, Aeris, LifeVent (ventilator)
- REMstar SE Auto
- OmniLab Advanced+
- Trilogy 100 (ventilator)
- Trilogy 200 (ventilator)
- SystemOne ASV4
- SystemOne (Q-Series)
What You Should Do if You Have an Affected Device
First and foremost, discuss your options with your doctor. You should never stop using an essential medical device without speaking to a medical provider.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, your doctor may recommend:
- Alternative approaches to your sleep apnea treatment
- Using a different CPAP, BiPAP, or mechanical ventilator that was not affected by the recall
- No longer using the device if it is not essential for your current health needs
In some situations, continuing to use an affected device may outweigh the risks of discontinuing use. Your doctor can help you decide how to move forward with your care.
How a Philips CPAP Mass Tort Attorney Can Help You File a Lawsuit
You could be entitled to seek compensation for your hardships, medical bills, lost income, and other damages resulting from a defective Philips device. However, bringing a lawsuit against a major corporation comes with a number of complications.
The Philips CPAP mass tort lawyers from KJT Law Group know how to get results for injury victims and advocate for your best interests.
A lawyer from our team can also:
- Investigate your case, including your medical records
- Gather expert witness testimony (such as an oncologist or toxicologist) to demonstrate how the Philips device caused your injuries
- Collect statements from your doctor about your prognosis and the severity of your injuries
- Collect statements from family members or co-workers about how your injuries have affected you
- Assess the full extent of your damages and advocate for the best possible settlement
- Handle all communications with other parties in the case, including other lawyers
- Represent your interests throughout the trial process
- Keep you updated on the progress of your case
- Explain how the state’s statute of limitations (deadline to file) could affect your case
Call KJT Law Group Today for a Free Case Review
You do not have to fight this battle alone. An attorney from KJT Law Group can manage your injury case from start to finish.
At KJT Law Group, we are proud to represent people in the Greater Los Angeles area who were injured by the wrongdoing of others. Our Philips CPAP lawsuit lawyers are prepared to fight for your right to hold Philips accountable.
We offer free case reviews and only receive payment for our services if we win results for you. To learn more and take your next steps forward, contact us today at (818) 507-8525.