Philips CPAP / BiPAP / Ventilator Machine Lawsuits

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Philips CPAP Lawsuits 

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines are devices that provide a constant flow of pressurized air to help people with sleep apnea breathe easier during sleep. Sleep apnea causes people to periodically stop breathing while sleeping, resulting in poor sleep quality and other health issues.

The Philips Corporation was one of the largest manufacturers of CPAP machines for sleep apnea patients. However, in 2021 Philips issued a massive recall of approximately 15 million CPAP devices after discovering a serious defect.

The recalled Philips CPAP models contained a sound-dampening foam that could degrade and release toxic chemicals into the air pathway of the machine. Users risked inhaling or ingesting these particles during sleep.

This defect prompted several Philips CPAP lawsuits alleging that:

  The defective machines caused cancer, organ damage, headaches, and respiratory issues in users

  Philips knew about the risks for years but failed to warn the public

The lawsuits seek to hold Philips accountable and provide compensation to those injured by the recalled CPAP devices.

In June 2021, Philips issued a voluntary recall of the following Philips CPAP device models:

 DreamStation ASV

 SystemOne ASV4

 DreamStation ST

 REMstar SE Auto CPAP

The recall stated that the PE-PUR sound abatement foam in these devices could potentially release harmful chemicals if it degrades.

According to Philips, possible health risks from exposure include:

  Irritation and inflammation

  Headache and dizziness


  Toxic carcinogenic effects

The FDA categorized this as a Class I recall - the most serious type.

Related Blogs

Philips CPAP Devices and the Recall

Philips Respironics is a healthcare company that manufactures medical devices for sleep and respiratory conditions. They are one of the largest producers of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines.

CPAP machines use mild air pressure to keep airways open for people with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep, resulting in low oxygen levels. CPAPs pump a constant stream of air through a mask worn over the nose and/or mouth while sleeping. This air pressure prevents airways from collapsing.

Philips CPAP models like the DreamStation are designed to provide relief for sleep apnea symptoms. Other Philips CPAP devices include:

  REMstar Auto CPAP

  Dorma 500 CPAP

  Trilogy 100 Ventilator

A key component in these machines is the sound abatement foam. This polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam dampens noise and vibrations.

However, in April 2021, Philips announced it had determined that PE-PUR foam may degrade into particles that enter the device's air pathway and be inhaled or swallowed by the user. The company initiated a massive voluntary recall of approximately 15 million CPAP devices on June 14, 2021.

According to Philips, the PE-PUR foam may degrade due to:

  Exposure to high heat and humidity

  Use of unapproved cleaning methods such as ozone

In its recall notice, Philips stated that foam degradation could release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including:

  Toluene diamine

  Toluene diisocyanate

  Diethylene glycol

Lab testing showed these VOCs may be toxic, carcinogenic, and cause organ damage.

The recalled device models include various CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator machines across multiple Philips product lines:




Philips is providing repair and replacement services for recalled devices. However, the recall has left many CPAP users without safe access to their prescribed sleep apnea treatment.

This huge recall involving millions of devices has prompted multiple lawsuits against Philips alleging injuries caused by the defective PE-PUR foam.

Injuries and Health Risks from Philips CPAP Devices

The potential health risks from the recalled Philips CPAP devices are significant. The degraded PE-PUR sound abatement foam could cause users to inhale or swallow small particles containing dangerous chemicals.

According to Philips' own safety notices, use of affected CPAP machines may result in serious injuries:

  Headaches and dizziness from irritation and inflammation of airways

  Asthma symptoms and difficulty breathing due to airway restriction

  Nausea, vomiting, and stomach issues from swallowing foam particles

  Toxic and carcinogenic effects from chemical exposure that may lead to cancer

  Organ damage to kidneys, liver, and other organs

The FDA categorized the Philips CPAP recall as Class I, meaning there is a reasonable probability that use of these devices will cause serious adverse health consequences.

Lung damage is one of the most frequently alleged injuries in Philips CPAP lawsuits. PE-PUR foam particles can become lodged in lung tissue, resulting in inflammation, scarring, and reduced lung function.

Phillips CPAP devices have also been associated with various cancer diagnoses, including:

  Lung cancer

  Liver cancer

  Kidney cancer

  Lymphatic cancer


One study found CPAP users had a 30% increased risk of lung cancer compared to non-users. The degraded foam releases chemicals linked to cancer like toluene diamine.

In June 2022, the FDA reported it had received over 1,400 cancer-related medical device reports associated with recalled Philips CPAP devices. Hundreds of lawsuits allege the defective foam caused users to develop cancer.

Other reported CPAP injuries include:

  Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

  Pulmonary fibrosis

  Rectal cancer

  Stomach cancer

  Kidney failure

The risk of injury depends on factors like:

  Level of foam degradation

  Frequency and length of CPAP use

  Underlying health conditions

But all users of recalled Philips CPAP machines face some level of risk from inhalation or ingestion of the hazardous PE-PUR particles and gases.

Hidden Dangers and Failure to Warn

While Philips initiated a voluntary recall of its defective CPAP devices in June 2021, emerging evidence indicates the company knew about risks associated with the sound abatement foam long before that.

Internal company documents and emails show that by 2015, Philips was aware of problems with PE-PUR foam degradation in its devices.

Yet the company did not issue any warnings or initiate a recall at that time. Philips also allegedly failed to notify the FDA about reported cases of its CPAP foam breaking down.

Lawsuits against Philips allege:

  Philips received complaints about black foam particles from users

  The company did not adequately test the foam before using it

  Philips suppressed and concealed safety issues

One of the key allegations is that Philips only issued the recall once it had a next-generation CPAP device ready to replace the defective ones.

So the company put users at risk in order to maximize profits, according to plaintiffs.

An internal email from April 2018 shows a Philips engineer contacting a foam supplier about issues with the PE-PUR foam. The email states:

"We have a problem with one of your materials, the PUR foam that is used in our DreamStation CPAP devices. The foam is degrading into small particles that are ingested or inhaled by patients, causing safety issues and damage to the devices."

Rather than immediately investigating the health risks, Philips allegedly focused only on the performance impact and financial damage.

Throughout 2018 and 2019, the company continued receiving complaints from users about black debris in the devices. Yet it was not until April 2021 that Philips initially warned the public.

Even in its voluntary recall notice in June 2021, Philips stated:

“The likelihood of these potential risks occurring is considered low.”

But since the recall, the FDA has received over 100,000 medical device reports associating the recalled CPAP devices with serious injuries and hundreds of deaths.

This suggests the risks were much more significant than Philips disclosed. Its alleged failure to warn users about hazards prior to 2021 makes up a central claim of the CPAP lawsuits.

The CPAP Lawsuits 

After Philips issued a recall for millions of its CPAP devices, product liability lawsuits were filed by users who allegedly suffered injuries across the United States. These lawsuits claim that defects in the recalled Philips CPAP machines caused the plaintiffs to develop serious health problems.

The lawsuits allege that Philips was negligent in designing, manufacturing, and selling CPAP machines containing hazardous PE-PUR sound abatement foam. Plaintiffs also claim Philips failed to adequately warn CPAP users about the risks and dangers associated with its devices.

Some key allegations made in the CPAP recall lawsuits against Philips include:

  Philips knew or should have known that the PE-PUR foam degraded over time and emitted dangerous particles and gases. However, the company continued to sell the devices without any warnings.

  Philips failed to properly test the safety of the PE-PUR foam before using it in millions of CPAP machines. Proper testing would have revealed the degradation and off-gassing issues.

  Philips received customer complaints about black particles in the machines for years but did not investigate further or issue timely warnings.

  When Philips finally announced a recall, the notice downplayed the serious dangers of using the affected CPAP devices.

The CPAP recall class action lawsuits seek financial compensation for injuries that plaintiffs allege were caused by their recalled Philips devices. The types of damages sought in the lawsuits include:

  Costs of medical treatment related to injuries such as cancer, organ damage, and respiratory illness

  Lost wages due to inability to work while seeking treatment

  Pain, suffering, loss of companionship, and reduced quality of life

  Punitive damages to punish Philips for willful misconduct

CPAP users who have experienced the following injuries could potentially file a lawsuit:

  Cancer - Lung, kidney, liver, blood cancers, etc.

  Respiratory illnesses - Asthma, sinus issues, pulmonary fibrosis, etc.

  Organ damage - Kidney, liver, etc.

  Headaches, irritation, inflammation

The CPAP lawsuits have been filed on behalf of users who regularly relied on Philips machines for sleep apnea treatment over months and years. Regulators have received reports of CPAP-related adverse events and even deaths among long-term users.

By pursuing litigation, affected users are attempting to hold Philips accountable and force changes to ensure patient safety is prioritized over profits in the future. Settlements obtained through the lawsuits could also help cover ongoing medical costs for plaintiffs suffering from chronic conditions.

MDL Consolidation

Given the large number of CPAP recall lawsuits filed across the country, the cases were consolidated through a process called multidistrict litigation (MDL).

MDLs are a common method for streamlining complex civil lawsuits that involve many plaintiffs making similar claims against a defendant in federal courts nationwide.

In August 2021, the JPML (Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation) decided to centralize all Philips CPAP lawsuits pending in federal courts into one centralized proceeding. This MDL consolidation was approved because:

  It avoids duplicative discovery and inconsistent pretrial rulings

  It reduces costs for the parties and the courts

  It allows plaintiffs to coordinate legal strategy

All federal CPAP recall lawsuits have been transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. This district was chosen because it is close to Philips' U.S. headquarters and a facility that manufactured the recalled devices.

The Honorable Judge Joy Flowers Conti is presiding over the CPAP MDL. Judge Conti is an experienced jurist who has overseen MDLs involving medical devices and product liability claims.

Benefits of the CPAP MDL include:

  Efficient case management and motion practice

  Ability to organize plaintiff fact sheets and profile claims

  Joint settlement talks between defendant and multiple plaintiffs

Bellwether trials are often held in MDLs to give the parties insight into how jurors view the merits of representative cases. The outcome of bellwether trials can set expectations and move both sides toward global settlement.

While not class actions, MDLs allow coordination of pretrial proceedings and evidence aggregation for the benefit of all plaintiffs. However, each plaintiff in the CPAP recall MDL ultimately decides whether to accept any potential settlement offer.

As of January 2023, over 350 individual CPAP recall lawsuits were pending in the MDL. However, this does not reflect the full scope of potential claims.

Thousands more potential plaintiffs entered into tolling agreements that paused the statute of limitations to give them time to evaluate legal options. So the number of plaintiffs involved in the Philips CPAP MDL could grow substantially.

Centralization of the cases into one CPAP class action MDL makes the litigation process more organized and efficient. MDL consolidation allows plaintiffs' lawyers to coordinate their efforts and build the strongest case against Philips.

Judge Conti will schedule hearings, rule on evidentiary issues, and push the cases forward towards resolution. She also has the power to remand cases back to their original district courts if appropriate.

While MDL cases often take years to resolve, consolidation is likely to be beneficial for plaintiffs seeking compensation for injuries allegedly caused by recalled Philips CPAP devices. It levels the playing field against the defendant and gives victims a united voice.

Who Can File a Lawsuit?

The Philips CPAP lawsuits aim to provide compensation for those seriously injured by the recalled devices. But not everyone who used a recalled Philips CPAP machine will qualify to become a plaintiff in the litigation.

Certain criteria must be met for a person to potentially file a CPAP injury lawsuit against Philips:

CPAP Device Use

●  Used a recalled Philips CPAP, BiPAP, or ventilator machine

●  Used the device nearly every night for at least 6 months

●  Purchased the device before the recall in 2021

Without proof of regular, long-term use of a recalled Philips machine, claims of injuries from the device would be hard to substantiate.

Diagnosed Injuries

●  Cancer - Various types including lung, breast, bladder, kidney

●  Respiratory illnesses - Asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonia

●  Organ damage - Kidney, liver, heart failure

●  Severe headaches, dizziness, irritation

Vague complaints or pre-existing conditions are likely insufficient. The link between the recalled device and diagnosis must be clear.


●  Diagnosed with cancer or condition after using device for 6+ months

●  Diagnosis must have occurred within a reasonable time frame after exposure to the recalled device

If a long period elapsed between device use and diagnosis, causation becomes more difficult to prove.

Age Limit

●  Currently under 80 years old

●  Age limit imposed due to latency of diseases like cancer

Smoking History

●  Never smoked or quit over 10 years ago

●  Smoking makes causation murkier

Tolling Agreements

●  Entered agreement with Philips to pause statute of limitations

●  Preserves right to file suit even if deadline passes

Statute of Limitations

●  Deadline to file suit ranges from 1-6 years depending on state

●  Working CPAP recall lawyer can ensure deadline is met

The CPAP MDL lawyers want to ensure they accept the strongest possible cases. By screening with criteria such as the above, they build leverage in settlement talks.

However, the criteria may vary by attorney and could evolve as the litigation progresses. Certain exceptions may also enable a case to proceed despite missing one of the guidelines. For example, a strong causation argument could overcome issues with smoking history or timelines.

Anyone wanting to learn whether their situation might qualify for one of the CPAP recall lawsuits can consult with an attorney for an evaluation. Many offer free case reviews to assess potential claims. They can analyze medical history and device usage to give a recommendation.

It is important that potential plaintiffs act promptly to preserve their rights by having an attorney review their case. Statutes of limitations create time pressure, but tolling agreements with Philips can provide flexibility if signed before deadlines pass.

The attorneys want to ensure they file the strongest possible complaints to maximize settlement potential down the road. By reviewing cases carefully against criteria such as those outlined above, they position the Philips litigation favorably for plaintiffs seeking compensation for their injuries and losses.

Damages Sought in CPAP Lawsuits

The plaintiffs in the Philips CPAP recall lawsuits aim to recover compensation for the harms and losses allegedly caused by the defective devices.

The types of damages that can potentially be sought through these CPAP injury lawsuits include:

Medical Costs

This covers expenses related to:

●  Diagnostic testing to confirm an illness caused by the CPAP device

●  Surgical procedures and hospital stays

●  Medications and drugs

●  Doctor visits and medical appointments

●  Ongoing care and monitoring of chronic conditions

Plaintiffs need evidence of medical costs tied directly to their injuries from the recalled device.

Lost Income

Financial compensation can be sought for:

●  Missed work days for medical visits and recovery

●  Loss of earning capacity due to disability

●  Reduced ability to concentrate impacting job performance

●  Lost future income if unable to return to prior occupation

Supporting documentation of missed work and wages would be required.

Pain and Suffering

This covers physical and mental suffering from:

●  Physical pain from the illness or treatment

●  Emotional distress from diagnosis and recovery

●  Loss of enjoyment and quality of life

●  Grief, anxiety, depression

●  Embarrassment or loss of dignity

Pain and suffering compensation is subjective but can be substantial.

Loss of Companionship

For loved ones impacted by a family member's injury or death, covering:

●  Loss of positive experiences and activities shared together

●  Disruption of sexual relations

●  Loss of comfort, guidance, care and assistance

Spouses and children could potentially recover these damages.

Punitive Damages

If Philips is proven to have acted recklessly, maliciously or intentionally disregarded safety, the jury may award amounts to punish the company as an example to others. Punitive damages typically require clear willful misconduct, not just negligence. But evidence suggests Philips may have deliberately delayed the recall, so plaintiffs will attempt to make a case for sizable punitive awards.

The amounts for each category of damages can vary dramatically based on the individual circumstances, severity of injury, jurisdiction, and other case specifics. But the verdicts and settlements could potentially be in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for most plaintiffs if successful.

Recovering fair compensation through CPAP lawsuit settlements takes experienced attorneys with a proven track record in comparable cases. They know how to compile evidence demonstrating plaintiffs' damages and have the resources to build the strongest arguments possible to maximize claim value. Most offer free consultations to evaluate potential damages for victims of recalled Philips devices.

Settlements in CPAP Lawsuits

As of January 2023, no major settlements have been reached yet in the Philips CPAP litigation. However, settlements are likely at some point as the risks and costs of going to trial discourage most corporate defendants.

In major multidistrict litigation like the Philips CPAP MDL, there are a few ways potential settlements may unfold:

Class Action Settlements

A handful of class action lawsuits were filed seeking reimbursement for economic losses related to purchasing a recalled device. In September 2022, Philips agreed to pay at least $479 million to settle these claims for financial damages.

However, this settlement does not cover any personal injury claims alleging the CPAP devices caused cancer, organ damage or other illnesses. Those individual cases remain ongoing.

Case Inventory Settlements

Philips and the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee could negotiate settlements for groups of current cases within the CPAP MDL. For example, they may agree to settle the first 100 cases on the docket.

Confidential Settlements

Philips may negotiate private individual settlements with certain CPAP plaintiffs outside the MDL proceedings. These types of confidential deals occur frequently to avoid the spotlight of a public trial.

Global Settlement

A global settlement would seek to resolve all pending claims related to the CPAP litigation, both state and federal. However, global settlements typically take years of litigation before coming to fruition.

Philips has set aside around $900 million so far to cover litigation costs and potential settlements related to the CPAP recall. In product liability cases, settlements per plaintiff often range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars depending on the severity of injury.

Cancer cases tend to receive larger average settlements than respiratory illness or other claims. However, every case is different. Compensation depends on factors like:

    Type and stage of illness

    Required treatment

    Lost income

    Long-term prognosis


Individual settlements

Individual settlements for plaintiffs who file their own lawsuits separate from the class action tend to be significantly higher than class-wide amounts.

Experienced CPAP recall attorneys have the best insight on potential settlement values based on their prior case results. Many lawyers offer free consultations to review medical records and help set expectations.

While settlements may still be years away, having an attorney evaluating claims now helps ensure injured CPAP users maximize their eventual compensation when resolutions do occur.

Frequently Asked Questions about Philips CPAP Lawsuits

What injuries are people alleging from the recalled Philips CPAP devices?

Users of recalled Philips CPAP machines have reported suffering from various cancers, lung conditions, and other illnesses after long-term use of the devices. Some of the injuries and diseases named in CPAP lawsuits include:

  Lung cancer

  Breast cancer

  Prostate cancer



  Kidney cancer

  Liver cancer

  Stomach cancer


  Pulmonary fibrosis



  Sinus infections

  Headaches and dizziness

Many plaintiffs allege they developed these health conditions after using their recalled Philips CPAP devices regularly for 6 months or longer.

What is the status of the Philips CPAP litigation?

Hundreds of personal injury lawsuits have been filed in federal courts across the U.S. These cases have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceeding in the Western District of Pennsylvania. An MDL allows pretrial coordination of discovery and evidence. However, each plaintiff ultimately decides individually whether to settle or proceed to trial if a settlement offer is made.

Who may qualify to file a Philips CPAP lawsuit?

Those eligible to potentially file a claim include:

  Used a recalled Philips CPAP, BiPAP or ventilator machine

  Diagnosed with cancer, COPD, asthma or related illness after 6+ months of use

  Used the device for several years before diagnosis

  Currently under 80 years old

  Never smoked or quit 10+ years ago

What compensation is available in the CPAP lawsuits?

Plaintiffs are seeking damages that may include:

  Medical costs from testing, treatment, medications

  Lost income due to inability to work

  Pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life

  Loss of companionship damages for family members

Experienced CPAP recall attorneys can evaluate potential claim values during a free case consultation. Settlement amounts ultimately depend on many factors.

What is the deadline to file a Philips CPAP lawsuit?

Deadlines vary by state but are typically 1 to 6 years. The statute of limitations may run from the date Philips first announced the recall in June 2021. However, consulting a lawyer can determine if exceptions apply. Acting promptly is advised before time limits expire.

How will the CPAP lawsuits be resolved?

The cases could take years to resolve but will likely end in settlements. Philips has an interest in avoiding the public spotlight of lengthy trials. CPAP lawyers believe reasonable settlements are probable once sufficient discovery is complete. Talking to an attorney now can help maximize potential compensation down the road.

What is the Philips CPAP Lawsuit about?

The Philips CPAP Lawsuit is a class-action lawsuit against Philips, a manufacturer of CPAP and BiPAP machines, over alleged design defects and safety issues with their devices.

What is the impact of the Philips CPAP Lawsuit?

The impact of the Philips CPAP Lawsuit is that it has affected thousands of individuals who rely on CPAP and bipap machines for sleep apnea and other respiratory conditions. It has caused concerns about the safety and reliability of these devices.

How do I file a CPAP lawsuit against Philips?

To file a CPAP lawsuit against Philips, you should consult with a lawyer who specializes in medical device lawsuits. They will guide you through the legal process and help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claim.

What is the settlement amount in the Philips CPAP Lawsuit?

The settlement amount in the Philips CPAP Lawsuit will vary depending on various factors such as the severity of injuries, medical expenses, and overall impact on the individual's life. Some reports suggest that the settlement amounts could reach millions of dollars.

What should I do if I own a recalled Philips CPAP or BiPAP machine?

If you own a recalled Philips CPAP or bipap machine, it is advisable to contact the manufacturer or your healthcare provider for guidance. They will provide instructions on how to proceed, including potential repair or replacement options.

Can I submit insurance claims for my recalled Philips CPAP machine?

It is recommended to consult with your insurance provider regarding the possibility of submitting claims for a recalled Philips CPAP machine. Insurance coverage may vary, and they will be able to provide more specific information based on your policy.

What are some of the specific issues with the recalled Philips CPAP and BiPAP devices?

Some of the specific issues reported with the recalled Philips CPAP and bipap devices include potential health risks associated with the foam used in the devices and the potential release of particles or gases that could be harmful when inhaled.

Has there been any wrongful death lawsuit filed against Philips in relation to the CPAP recall?

There have been reports of wrongful death lawsuits filed against Philips in relation to the CPAP recall. These lawsuits allege that the defects and safety issues with the devices have resulted in fatal consequences for some individuals.


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