Approximately 22 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. It means that most of these individuals depend on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP), and mechanical ventilators from companies such as Philips to have an undisturbed sleep.
But the recent voluntary recall of over 4 million Philips CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator machines shows that instead of the company making these people comfortable, it likely made their condition worse and even exposed them to other health risks.
In June 2021, Philips announced the voluntary recall due to potential health risks associated with using the machines, such as cancer. Nothing is more frustrating than trusting a medical device and a company that claims it cares about you only to learn that you have been duped.
So, if you or your loved one has been diagnosed with cancer or any other health condition after using the Philips CPAP machine, you may qualify for a Philips CPAP recall lawsuit.
At Legal Giant, our biggest concern is to ensure you get the rightful compensation you deserve. That is why we have a dedicated team of Philips CPAP recall lawsuit attorneys ready to fight for your rights and justice.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Philips CPAP machine recall lawsuit and whether you qualify for compensation.
What Happened with Philips CPAP Machines?
Philips was strong enough to come out in June 2021 and issue a voluntary recall of over 4 million CPAP machines, mechanical ventilators, and BiPAP machines. The recall was primarily due to the discovery that the sound-reducing polyester-based polyurethane foam used in the devices had adverse effects on users.
The discovery showed that the foam could easily degrade and break down into particles that can be swallowed by the user. This exposes users to a significant risk of inhaling dangerous and highly carcinogenic substances.
Besides causing cancer, the chemical substance is also believed to cause a wide range of other health complications, including chest pressure, severe headaches, asthma, nausea, damage to internal body organs such as liver and lungs, vomiting, sinus infections, upper airway irritations, increased breathing difficulties, heart failure, leukemia, pneumonia, stroke, hypersensitivity, and emphysema.
Which Philips Devices Have Been Recalled?
A significant number of Philips CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator machines have been affected by the recall. However, approximately 80% of all the recalled devices are CPAP machines – the first generation of DreamStation devices.
The recalled machines include:
- A-Series BiPAP A40.
- A-Series BiPAP V30 Auto.
- A-Series BiPAP A30 and Hybrid A30.
- A-Series BiPAP A40.
- C-Series S/T and AVAPS.
- C-Series ASV.
- DreamStation ASV.
- Dorma 500.
- Dorma 400.
- DreamStation ST, AVAPS.
- DreamStation Go.
- Trilogy 200.
- Trilogy 100.
- REMstar SE Auto.
- SystemOne Q-Series.
- SystemOne ASV4
- OmniLab Advanced +
- Garbin Plus, Aeris, LifeVent.
However, the following machines have not been recalled, and they are still considered safe for use:
- Respiratory drug delivery products.
- Airway clearance products.
- Oxygen concentrators.
- BiPAP A40 Pro.
- BiPAP A40 EFL.
- Trilogy 202.
- Trilogy Evo.
- Trilogy EV300.
- Trilogy Evo OBM.
- REMstart SE.
- Dorma 200.
- Dorma 100.
- OmniLab based on Harmony 2.
- DreamStation 2.
Philips CPAP Recall Lawsuit Violations
The Philips CPAP recall lawsuit is based on two fundamental violations, namely:
1. Design Defect
One of the reasons why a lot of people are filing lawsuits against Philips is for the simple reason that the CPAP, BiPAP and ventilator machines they sold to users are defective and dangerous for use.
The foam used in these devices can easily break down, exposing users to many health risks. The foam is so dangerous that when it completely degrades, it can cause different types of cancers. This alone is a valid reason to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
2. Failure to Warn
Not only did Philips use a highly carcinogenic compound in their devices, but they also failed to warn the public as soon as they became aware of the risks. There are several allegations that some users had been complaining of different health issues as a result of the foam for many years.
Investigations show that the manufacturer became aware of the issue in April 2021 but didn’t issue a voluntary recall of the affected devices until June 14, 2021.
It means that Americans continued to buy and use the defective devices for at least two months even though Philips was already aware of what was happening.
The failure to warn forms another ground to file a lawsuit against the company.
What Should You Do If Your Device Has Been Recalled?
The FDA recommends that users impacted by the recall seek alternative treatment options from their primary doctors. However, if your life depends on the ventilator, you shouldn’t stop using it or change it before talking to your healthcare provider.
Since the recall was announced, more than 1,200 complaints and 100 severe injuries have been reported to the FDA. In a separate press release, the Food and Drug Administration warned that a significant number of at-home CPAP machine cleaning gadgets are not legally marketed for that purpose.
In fact, you don’t need a separate machine to clean your CPAP or BiPAP device at home.
Are CPAP Recall Lawsuits Class Actions?
Currently, two types of lawsuits are being filed against Philips related to the defective CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator machines: Personal injury and class action lawsuits.
1. CPAP Personal Injury Lawsuits
The personal injury lawsuits allege that defective CPAP, BiPAP and mechanical ventilator machines caused physical injury, among other losses such as lost wages, emotional trauma, and loss of future income for victims.
There is the likelihood that the personal injury claims will be merged into multidistrict litigation. In multidistrict litigation, the personal injury claims stay separate, but they are consolidated into a single federal court to streamline the hearing process.
2. CPAP Class Action Lawsuits
CPAP class action lawsuits are different from personal injury lawsuits since they are focused on seeking economic compensation for defective product replacement and other economic losses.
The class-action lawsuit doesn’t focus on physical injuries victims suffer after using CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator machines. Instead, it focuses on economic losses suffered. In a class-action lawsuit, plaintiffs’ claims are similar as opposed to personal injury lawsuits where victims may have suffered varying injuries.
However, it is good to keep in mind that you can qualify for both a CPAP personal injury and CPAP class-action lawsuit.
What Damages Could You Recover from a Philips CPAP Lawsuit?
If you have been diagnosed with any type of cancer after using the Philips CPAP machine, you may be eligible for a six-figure payout or even more, depending on the strength of your case.
Currently, attorneys are fighting so hard to recover a wide range of compensatory damages, including:
- Lost wages from having to miss work from being ill.
- Past and future medical expenses including doctor’s appointments, hospital stays and cost of new breathing devices to replace the recalled one.
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of future income if the recalled device caused you to be too sick to work in the future; and
- Other economic losses.
If your case goes to trial, the jury may also award you punitive damages if they establish that Philips acted in a malicious or negligent manner.
Generally, a court can award you punitive damages if you can demonstrate that the manufacturer knew about the PE-PUR foam degradation and the health risks associated with it but did nothing about it. There is strong evidence suggesting that Philips knew about the degradation long before the recall.
Another ground for seeking punitive damages is that the manufacturer allegedly coordinated the CPAP recall to overlap with a new launch of safer CPAP devices. Technically, the company forced customers reliant on CPAP devices to purchase the new product at their own expense if it failed to replace their devices on time.
For instance, the new and safer DreamStation 2 model was launched exactly two months before the recall. In most cases, the punitive damages exceed compensatory damages by far.
Where Does the Philips CPAP Recall Lawsuit Stand Today?
The truth is that there are many potential plaintiffs scattered all over the United States. However, litigation is just beginning, and more victims are set to come forward and join the lawsuit as time goes by.
As mentioned earlier, there is a likelihood that the CPAP personal injury claims will be merged into multidistrict litigation to expedite the court process during pre-trial proceedings.
Some of the top causes of action against Philips include:
- Failure to warn.
- Negligence per se.
- Gross negligence.
- Defective design that falls under strict liability and negligence.
- Negligent misrepresentation.
- Fraudulent misrepresentation.
- Fraudulent concealment.
- Breach of implied and express warranties.
Do You Qualify for a Philips CPAP Recall Lawsuit?
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with cancer or any other health issue after using Philips’ defective devices, you may qualify for a CPAP recall lawsuit provided you are not a current or former smoker.
Our experienced attorneys are currently investigating a wide range of claims with no upfront costs or obligations. All you have to do is contact us for a FREE consultation to find out if you qualify for compensation.
We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you don’t pay us a penny unless we recover compensation for you.