Philips CPAP Lawsuits Expand; Settlement Master Appointed in MDL
As many as 800 patients are suing Philips over its recalled CPAP machines, Bi-PAP devices, and mechanical ventilators. The recalled products have been linked to serious health risks including certain cancers and respiratory diseases.
Joining the hundreds of lawsuits is a Wisconsin woman who has terminal bile duct cancer. She had been using several different types of Philips CPAP machines every night since 2008, including the DreamStation model that was part of the June 2021 recall. She was also diagnosed with asthma after experiencing breathing problems in 2016.
The issue with the devices is that Philips manufactured certain CPAP, Bi-PAP, and mechanical ventilator machines with a substance called polyester-based polyurethane foam (PE-PUR). This special foam, embedded inside the machines, helps quiet the vibrations of the devices. Over time, the PE-PUR foam may break down. When the foam degrades, it may release tiny particles and gases into the machine, which may cause cancer and other problems.
Lawsuits allege, as is the case with the Wisconsin woman referenced above, that patients using these machines breathed in these deadly particles and gases, which led to health issues. Some of the problems plaintiffs are alleging include:
- Acute Respiratory Distress System (ARDS)
- Chemical poisoning that resulted in hospitalization
- Hematopoietic Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Kidney/Renal Damage/Failure/AKI
- Liver Cancer
- Liver Failure
- Lung Cancer
- Lung Disease
- Lymphatic Cancer
- Multiple Myeloma
- Nasal Cancer
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Pleural Effusion
- Reactive Airway Disease (RAD)
- Respiratory Failure
According to Philips’ March 2022 press release, the company says they have reached out to users of the approximately 2.6 million impacted devices. The company has also issued some replacement devices as they work to relieve the problem, but thousands of CPAP, Bi-PAP and mechanical ventilator patients are faced with a difficult choice: continue using their faulty machines or face the risks of their untreated sleep apnea.
CPAP Lawsuit Status
With hundreds of these lawsuits pending, the cases have been centralized into what is known as an MDL (multi-district litigation). The cases have been grouped together for pre-trial proceedings and discovery in the Western District of Pennsylvania. The judge presiding over the litigation recently appointed a Special Master in the litigation. The Special Master will help to move the case along at a more expeditious pace.
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