Philips Respironics Agrees to $479 Million Settlement for Defective CPAP Machines

September 13, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Philips Respironics Agrees to $479 Million Settlement for Defective CPAP Machines

Philips Respironics has agreed to a $479 million settlement with plaintiffs in the defective Philips CPAP lawsuit. Back in 2021, Philips Respironics recalled their CPAP machines after researchers found that disintegrating polyurethane foam in the machines could cause cancer, respiratory disease, and lung disease.

Consumers who used the devices to help with sleep apnea suffered severe health conditions that sometimes led to wrongful death. After two years of litigation, plaintiffs can recover compensation if they bought and used Philips CPAP machines and suffered out-of-pocket costs from adverse health conditions related to the device's defect.

Victims of Defective CPAP Machines Receive a Settlement for Damages

The plaintiffs in the defective CPAP machine lawsuit have finally reached a settlement for economic damages with Philips Respironics. The CPAP machine manufacturer agreed to a $479 million settlement over the health risks presented to consumers who used their products to help with sleep apnea.

This settlement comes after Philips Respironics set aside $615 million in early 2023 in anticipation of a settlement. The value of the settlement can increase as more victims return the recalled Philips CPAP machines and pursue compensation in Philips CPAP lawsuits. 

According to a spokesperson for Philips Respironics, the company “structured this settlement to quickly deliver value to eligible patients in the U.S. and provide an additional measure of confidence in the safety and quality of Philips Respironics products.” As a part of the resolution, Philips Respironics did not admit to wrongdoing that led to customers' exposure to health risks.

Why Were Philips CPAP Machines Recalled in 2021?

The Philips CPAP machines were recalled in 2021 because of an issue with the polyurethane foam used in the machines. This sound abatement foam helped to reduce sound and vibration when people used the CPAP machines to help with sleep apnea.

However, they discovered that the polyurethane foam could disintegrate, resulting in customers breathing in dangerous chemicals that could cause health problems. Philips Respironics issued a voluntary recall of 15 million CPAP machines.

The following are the defective Philips products that were recalled in 2021:

  • All Philips CPAP devices (manufactured prior to April 26, 2021)
  • All Philips BiLevel PAP devices (manufactured prior to April 26, 2021)
  • DreamStation non-life supporting continuous ventilator (Models ASV, ST, and AVAPS)
  • DreamStation CPAP, Auto CPAP, and BiPAP ventilators
  • DreamStation Go CPAP and APAP (Models of non-continuous ventilators)
  • C Series continuous ventilator, non-life supporting (Models ASV, S/T, and AVAPS)
  • E30 model continuous ventilator
  • SystemOne ASV4 model continuous ventilators, non-life supporting
  • SystemOne Q series (Models of non-continuous ventilators)
  • OmniLab Advanced Plus in-lab titration device
  • The Trilogy 100, Trilogy 200, Garbin Plus, Aeris, and LifeVent continuous ventilators
  • REMStar SE Auto CPAP (Models of non-continuous ventilators)
  • Dorma 400 and 500 CPAP (Models of non-continuous ventilators)
  • The A-Series BiPAP V30 Auto and Hybrid A30 continuous ventilators
  • A-Series BiPAP A30 and A40 non-life supporting continuous ventilators (Not sold in the U.S.)

What Health Issues Resulted from Philips CPAP Machines?

Customers who bought and used CPAP machines from Philips Respironics inhaled dangerous chemicals without realizing it. A Federal Drug Administration (FDA) investigation into CPAP machines found that the high heat and humidity generated by the CPAP machines led to the polyurethane foam breaking down and releasing dangerous chemicals.

The following are the adverse health conditions caused by defective Philips CPAP machines:

  • Bone marrow cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Testicular cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Tonsil cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Nasal cancer
  • Respiratory disease
  • Reactive airway disease (RAD)
  • Lung or pulmonary disease
  • Asthma

Some of the above adverse health conditions can cause life-threatening consequences. According to the FDA report, defective CPAP machines caused over 98,000 people to experience severe health issues and 350 people to suffer wrongful death.

Philips CPAP Recall MDL Filed to Hold Philips Accountable for Negligence

The FDA report into Philips and their CPAP machines found that executives in the company knew about the foam degradation and health risks posed by the products a year before the recall. They also discovered a 2015 internal email from a Philips employee to a foam supplier that mentioned the degradation issue.

Philips Respironics failed to recall their defective CPAP machines for another six years, exposing millions of people to significant health risks. Victims of defective Philips CPAP machines filed individual lawsuits to hold the company accountable for negligence in failing to recall the devices and recklessly exposing customers to health risks.

In October 2021, the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) agreed to consolidate all Philips CPAP lawsuits into a multi-district litigation (MDL). The new consumer MDL formed in the Western District of Pennsylvania before Judge Joy Flowers Conti. After two years of litigation, Philips agreed to a settlement of $479 million to pay for some economic damages.

How Much Will Each Plaintiff Receive From the Philips CPAP Settlement?

Plaintiffs in the CPAP machine MDL will receive compensation from the settlement to pay for economic damages caused by the defective sleep apnea machines. According to CNN, each plaintiff will recover anywhere from $55.63 to $1,552.25 for each returned CPAP machine.

Each plaintiff will also receive a $100 device return award for each recalled device returned to Philips Respironics. This device return award covers the cost of purchasing a new machine.

Despite receiving a settlement from Philips, the CPAP machine MDL  plaintiffs will not yet recover compensation for the full cost of their damages. Further developments in the lawsuits will have to take place for them to recover compensation for the rest of their economic and non-economic damages.

What Comes Next for Defective Philips CPAP Machine Plaintiffs?

The agreed-upon $479 million settlement is only a partial settlement for the damages incurred by plaintiffs. The lawyers representing the plaintiffs have said in a statement that they will continue with litigation to pursue compensation for the rest of their damages, such as medical bills, medical monitoring, and pain and suffering. 

Plaintiffs who suffered economic, non-economic, and wrongful death damages will move forward to ensure Philips pays for the full value of their damages. The lawsuit will continue as plaintiffs seek a second global settlement to pay for the damages not covered by the initial settlement.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Defective Philips CPAP Machine Lawsuit

The product liability lawyers at Dolman Law Group can help you if you suffer severe health conditions from using a defective CPAP machine. They have decades of experience helping victims of other dangerous products and can advise you on how to join the Philips CPAP MDL.

Our product liability attorneys have experience with other mass tort, class action, and MDL lawsuits. They can use their consolidated lawsuit experience to help you calculate damages, file the necessary paperwork, collect evidence to prove the at-fault party’s liability, and ensure you are represented in any settlement. Contact Dolman Law Group for a free consultation with a CPAP lawyer today at 866-481-5503 or by contacting us online.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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