What Is the Philips CPAP Lawsuit?

December 30, 2022
What Is the Philips CPAP Lawsuit?

Philips Respironics produced millions of CPAP, BiPAP, and mechanical ventilator machines designed to help maintain positive airway pressure. Many people rely on CPAP and BiPAP machines to keep breathing overnight when sleep apnea and other conditions can cause those individuals to stop breathing. Unfortunately, a recall of those products shared that the foam used on those products could break down over regular use, posing a danger to patients.

In 2021, Philips Respironics issued a recall of many of those products. The initial recall suggested that Philips would repair or replace the products containing the dangerous PE-PUR foam. Unfortunately, later recalls suggested that the foam used to replace the dangerous product could still pose a significant health risk, which meant that users could still face considerable challenges if they continued to use the machines.

Early on, Philips suggested that the foam degradation could have resulted from SoClean ozone cleaning machines, often used to clean the products. However, this smear campaign against SoClean proved essentially baseless, as the foam could break down under other circumstances. That foam breakdown can lead to considerable health problems for people who may have inhaled or ingested those materials.

What is the Danger Posed by Philips CPAP Machines?

Studies showed that the polyester-based polyurethane foam used to dampen sound created by the devices could break down over time, causing machine users to ingest or breathe in those materials. Those materials can cause a host of problems, including:

Cancer Risk

The PE-PUR foam used in the machines, when ingested or inhaled, can cause an increase in cancer. They may include cancer of various organs, including the kidneys, liver, lungs, and stomach; testicular cancer; breast cancer; leukemia; and many other potential types.

Philips Respironics CPAP users who discover any cancer after using a CPAP machine included in the recall should consult with their doctors about whether that type of cancer could result from PE-PUR foam exposure.

Toxic Symptoms

Immediate exposure to the foam gasses or particles produced by PE-PUR foam can create a number of symptoms that can interfere with patients’ everyday lives. Many patients may notice headaches and dizziness. Others may suffer from nausea or vomiting. Furthermore, airway irritation or inflammation can occur from exposure to those toxic chemicals. In many cases, symptoms of PE-PUR foam exposure may worsen over time, particularly if exposure continues.

Organ Damage

Continued exposure to toxic chemicals can cause a host of potential problems, including organ damage. Regular users, especially long-term users, may have noted organ damage, including kidney, lung, or liver damage.

Respiratory Issues

Exposure to the PE-PUR foam particles released by Philips CPAP devices may create different respiratory issues. In some cases, it may produce inflammation in the sinuses, nose, or lungs. In other cases, it can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome, reactive airway disease, or even, in extreme cases, respiratory failure.

Many patients may have noted respiratory sensitivity, including increased difficulty breathing during the day. Unfortunately, they may not have linked those symptoms to CPAP use, so they may have continued to suffer worsening symptoms.

Internal documents from Philips display that the company knew about the potential hazard long before it issued the recall, which means many people may have suffered devastating symptoms and diagnoses due to the delay.

Which Philips CPAP Devices Are Included in the Recall?

The Philips CPAP recall impacts a number of CPAP devices. The FDA lists all the devices included in the recall. All recalled devices have manufacturing dates between 2009 and April 26, 2021. Devices manufactured after that point do not contain the dangerous foam and should not create any negative symptoms.

They include:

  • DreamStation
  • DreamStation ASV
  • DreamStation Go
  • DreamStation ST, AVAPS
  • Dorma 400
  • Dorma 500
  • E30
  • OmniLab Advanced+
  • REMstar SE Auto
  • SystemOne ASV4
  • SystemOne (Q-Series)

Anyone using these products should have received a recall notice related to using those products. However, some doctors may recommend that their patients wait until they have come up with a new CPAP solution before discontinuing their current product.

Who Can Participate in the Philips CPAP Lawsuit?

You may have the right to participate in the Philips CPAP lawsuit if you:

Used One of the Machines Named in the Recall

If you used a machine that used the PE-PUP foam and, as a result, faced exposure to those toxic chemicals, you may have the right to participate in the lawsuit. You may need to show the length of time you used the CPAP machine, including a prescription from your doctor that showed your sleep apnea or other diagnoses.

In order to participate in the Philips CPAP claim, you will need to show that you suffered a cancer diagnosis or other condition related to PE-PUP foam exposure.

Those conditions may include:

  • Cancer
  • Reactive airway disease
  • Chemical poisoning
  • Heart issues
  • Organ damage
  • Airway, ear, or sinus inflammation

If you suffer any of those conditions, talk to a lawyer about your diagnosis as soon as possible to better understand your next steps.

You may also have the right to file a claim if you lost a loved one due to a diagnosis related to the Philips CPAP foam degradation and the associated cancers or other disorders associated with its use.

What Should You Do if You Use a Recalled Philips CPAP Device?

If you use a recalled Philips CPAP device, see your doctor as soon as possible to discuss the recall and the best way to manage your next steps. Your doctor may advise you not to discontinue use immediately since you may have adverse health effects from suddenly discontinuing CPAP use. However, your doctor will work with you to create a plan to get and use a new device so that you can avoid further toxic chemical exposure.

Next, rule out any serious health conditions. Your doctor can advise you on how to best handle any symptoms you may have experienced or how to avoid further complications related to any respiratory conditions developed from toxic chemical exposure.

Document your medical care, including any bills you may face for medical treatment. You may later need to use that information to seek compensation for the damages you faced due to toxic chemical exposure.

Finally, get in touch with a lawyer to learn more about your rights. A lawyer can help guide you through the claim process, including providing you with more information about the compensation you should expect for any damages associated with using a Philips CPAP machine.

What Compensation Can You Claim as Part of a Philips CPAP Lawsuit?

Suppose you suffered a devastating diagnosis as a result of using a Philips CPAP machine, including a cancer diagnosis or devastating respiratory symptoms. In that case, you may have the right to claim compensation for those damages.

A lawyer can help you take a closer look at what damages you sustained due to that diagnosis and the injuries that went along with it. However, you can generally expect to claim compensation for the suffering and financial challenges that may have gone along with a devastating diagnosis.

Compensation for Medical Costs Associated with Your Diagnosis

Whether you suffered immediate toxic symptoms related to PE-PUP foam exposure or you had to face a cancer diagnosis related to your exposure, you may have ended up with substantial medical bills. Try to keep up with all medical bills related to your treatment so that you can include them as part of a comprehensive injury claim.

You may want to include:

  • Bills associated with the initial diagnosis, which can take considerable time and rack up enormous medical costs
  • Surgeries and other procedures related to treatment
  • Chemotherapy or radiation costs for cancer
  • Hospitalization costs
  • The cost of in-home care to help manage your medical needs
  • The cost of a stay in a long-term care facility
  • Any durable medical equipment needed to help you recover from your diagnosis or maintain your independence

Talk to your lawyer about both the medical costs you have already faced due to your diagnosis and any future potential medical costs associated with the diagnosis. In many cases, following a devastating diagnosis, you may anticipate considerable future medical bills, for which you may also deserve compensation. Your lawyer may help you determine how to best include those future anticipated medical costs as part of your claim.

Compensation for Wage Losses Associated with a Diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis can make it very difficult for you at work. While you may try to maintain your job for as long as possible, you may eventually find that you cannot keep up with cancer treatments and still do your job to the best of your ability. Or you may lose your ability to work while undergoing treatment. As part of your Philips CPAP claim, you can include compensation for the wages you miss out on as a direct result of your diagnosis.

Compensation for Your Pain and Suffering

Many of the elements of suffering associated with a cancer diagnosis or toxic chemical exposure do not necessarily impact your finances. You may have to deal with several challenges, including physical pain and emotional anguish related to your treatment.

You may struggle with losing independence or decreased social interaction since you may have to spend less time around people due to your diagnosis. Many people may also miss out on many activities they once enjoyed due to their cancer diagnosis or toxic chemical exposure.

Talk to your lawyer about the challenges you may have faced and how to include them as part of your Philips CPAP claim.

Compensation for the Loss of a Loved One

If you lost a loved one to a cancer diagnosis or other devastating illness related to Philips CPAP use, you may recover compensation for:

  • Your loved one’s final bills, including funeral and burial expenses
  • The loss of your loved one’s income
  • The loss of the services your loved one usually performed for the family

In addition, you can include compensation for the loss of your loved one’s care and companionship as part of your claim. A lawyer can help guide you through the process of filing a claim related to the loss of a loved one.

Do You Need a Lawyer to File a Philips CPAP Claim?

Dealing with a Philips CPAP claim on your own can prove very difficult. By working with an attorney, you can experience a number of advantages.

Learn More About the Compensation You Deserve

When you file a Philips CPAP claim on your own, you may not know how much compensation to expect as part of your claim. Often, that means that people end up accepting lower settlements than they really deserve. On the other hand, a personal injury lawyer can help with a comprehensive breakdown of the losses you have sustained and the compensation you deserve.

Get the Evidence You Need To Establish Your Claim

A lawyer can help clearly establish that you used a Philips CPAP machine, suffered toxic exposure, and had a diagnosis related to that exposure. Furthermore, a lawyer can help pull together the evidence of the medical treatments you need and the cost of those treatments.

Let Your Lawyer Fight for You

A lawyer can help fight to ensure that you have your losses recognized and that you receive the compensation you deserve for those injuries.

Did you suffer a devastating diagnosis after using a Philips CPAP product? Contact a mass tort attorney to discuss your losses and your right to compensation.

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

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 represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $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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