On June 14, 2021, Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) issued a voluntary recall notification for specific Philips Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (Bi-Level PAP), and mechanical ventilator devices.

The recall was the result of “identified potential health risks related to the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam component of these devices.” This observation was originally made in April 2021 in the Philips Q1 2021 Quarterly Report. 

The majority of the affected devices within the advised 5-year service life are in the first-generation DreamStation product family.


Claims against the manufacturer

A class action lawsuit was filed in Massachusetts on June 30 by the national plaintiffs’ law firm Berger Montague. The lawsuit alleges that Philips was aware of the material risks associated with CPAP and Bi-Level PAP machines long before the voluntary recall. 

In addition, the class action lawsuit filed alleges that Philips timed the recall to coincide with the launch of new products, resulting in customers purchasing a newer model to resolve their issues.

Why was the recall issued?

The PE-PUR sound abatement foam can degrade into small particles which could enter the device’s air pathway and be ingested or inhaled by the user. The foam may also off-gas certain harmful chemicals. 

According to Philips, “the potential risks of particulate exposure include headache, irritation, inflammation, respiratory issues, and possible toxic and carcinogenic effects. The potential risks of chemical exposure due to off-gassing include headache, irritation, hypersensitivity, nausea/vomiting, and possible toxic and carcinogenic effects.” 

What are the potential claims?

The Philips CPAP and Bi-Level PAP machine recall could result in complications including injuries and cancers. 

People that have experienced one or more of the following injuries may qualify for financial compensation:

  • Pleural effusion, Kidney damage, Liver damage, Kidney disease, Liver disease, Respiratory failure, Heart failure, Heart attack, Chemical poisoning, Reactive Airway Disease (RAD), Acute Respiratory Distress System (ARDS), Severe ear, nose, throat inflammation

If individuals have been diagnosed with one or more of the following cancers, they may qualify for financial compensation:

  • Bladder Cancer, Brain Cancer, Breast Cancer, Hematopoietic Cancer, Kidney Cancer, Leukemia, Liver Cancer, Lung Cancer, Lymphatic Cancer, Multiple Myeloma, Nasal Cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Papillary Carcinoma, Prostate Cancer, Rectal Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Thyroid Cancer

Who are potential claimants?

People who regularly use a continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) machine to help them breathe more easily when sleeping if they experience obstructive sleep apnea. This recall can also impact some bilevel positive airway pressure (Bi-Level PAP machines). These machines have many of the same attachments and supplies, but can be used to treat complex sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). 

Users may have suffered adverse medical effects or have experienced injuries or cancer due to the device. Broughton Partners helps connect victims injured by Philips CPAP machines to attorneys that can help them navigate the legal process if they qualify to file a claim. 

How to get involved in this litigation

Manufacturers have a responsibility to protect citizens from the potential harm their products can cause. The lawsuit filed by Berger Montague is testament to the importance of pursuing justice. More lawsuits are expected to follow, and many more victims will need legal representation. 

If you’d like to get involved in this litigation against Philips, call us today at (912) 304-4444 or fill out an online contact form.

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