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Apparently, Philips Had Been Aware of the Defectiveness of Their Sleep Apnea Devices Before the Recall

Posted on 11th August, 2021

by Legal Staff

While you may know about the recall issued by Philips on July 14, 2021, concerning their CPAP, BiPAP, and ASV sleep apnea devices, it is important to be aware that there are also 18 consumer class-action lawsuits pending against the company.

One of the lawsuits was filed by Gerry Shelton and Brenda Linette Griffin in Massachusetts, alleging that Philips had previous knowledge about the defective nature of their sleep apnea devices but failed to timely warn.

The plaintiffs, who intend to represent consumers nationwide, highlight the fact that the recall suspiciously coincides with the launch of the new line of Philips CPAP and BiPAP sleep apnea machines. "Philips timed its recall of the Recalled Breathing Machines to coincide with the launch of its next generation of products, which purportedly do not suffer from the same PE-PUR foam issues," notes the lawsuit. Both Shelton and Griffin rely on CPAP sleep apnea devices as part of their treatment. "Patients use the recalled breathing machines every day but, absent this litigation, Philips had no plan to replace any of the affected devices now or in the future," claim the plaintiffs.

It is worthy of note that another class-action lawsuit was filed against Philips by a professional truck driver in Oregon, who seeks damages because he had to interrupt his sleep apnea treatment. His goal is to represent everyone in this situation but, in particular, individuals from his state of residence. The plaintiff received a sleep apnea diagnosis in 2020, and his doctor prescribed him a Philips BiPAP machine to treat his disorder. Since he does not have a replacement for his defective machine available and because Philips has not supplied one, the man had to pause working, as he cannot be a professional truck driver with his sleep apnea untreated.

Is There Evidence Supporting the Fact that Philips Had Known About the Defectiveness of Their Sleep Apnea Devices?

One of the key aspects to holding Philips liable in any lawsuit filed for injuries caused by their faulty sleep apnea devices is determining whether the company had actual or constructive knowledge of the defective nature of their products. If the plaintiffs in the consumer class-action lawsuits across the country can prove that Philips had known or should have known about the polyurethane foam issue in their sleep apnea devices and about the health risks associated with exposure, then the company can be held liable for negligent failure to warn.

There is some relevant evidence that supports the theory that Philips had been aware of the problem of their sleep apnea machines and ventilators for a long time before issuing the recall, namely:

  • Philips received numerous complaints from consumers who had been inhaling black particles: The plaintiffs taking part in the lawsuits claim that they were victims of fraud since they spent money on CPAP sleep apnea devices that are actually worthless. Furthermore, they allege that the company had been receiving complaints for years from users of CPAP machines who were claiming that they were breathing in foam or dust particles from the device. The details of these complaints will come to light during civil discovery. "Patients who use the Recalled Breathing Machines have complained about black particles in their machines for several years," claims the lawsuit filed by Shelton and Griffin.
  • Philips disclosed issues with the recalled devices to investors before the recall: Several weeks before the recall was issued, the company informed corporate investors with regard to the problems CPAP devices and the DreamStation had. On April 21, 2021, Philips released the quarterly earnings report to the investors of the company. However, in the section entitled "Regulatory Update," the company wrote to investors everything they knew about the issues of their sleep apnea devices, including the health risks of exposure to degraded polyurethane foam. The report also assured investors that Philips had already launched a new generation of DreamStation machines that would not have the defect.
  • Philips developed and launched the DreamStation 2 just before the recall: Perhaps the most engrossing proof that Philips had been aware of the problem of polyurethane foam for a long time is that the company launched a new, safer alternative to their DreamStation in April of 2021. This sleep apnea device does not have a safety problem involving polyurethane foam that is prone to deteriorating. Several weeks after the release of the DreamStation 2, Philips notified consumers that the older sleep apnea devices were defective. Finally, on July 14, 2021, they issued the recall. Without a doubt, the company has not designed and manufactured the new line of DreamStation machines overnight, as the process of coming up with a new product takes several months to several years. This clearly points to the fact that Philips had prior knowledge of the faulty nature of their previous sleep apnea devices long before the recall.

Consequently, there is abundant pertinent evidence that the Dutch company chose to cover up the fact that their current line of sleep apnea devices at that time was defective. Inhaling particles of polyurethane foam, as well as the off-gases that are released by it, can lead to serious health problems, including multiple types of cancer. If you developed cancer after using a defective Philips sleep apnea machine or ventilator, we advise you to contact our team of experts immediately, as you may be entitled to financial compensation.

File Your Philips Claim with Our Professional Assistance

With over 3 decades of experience in assessing product liability claims, Atraxia Law is bound to provide you with quality assistance in order to determine whether you are eligible to file a claim with Philips.

If you came to struggle with cancer as a consequence of using a CPAP, BiPAP, or ASV sleep apnea machine or ventilator, we will quickly take on your case and thoroughly evaluate your situation.

All we will need from you is proof that you own a faulty Philips sleep apnea device, as well as evidence of your cancer diagnosis. Following a careful assessment of your case, you will know with certainty whether you qualify for filing a claim with the company. If you do, we will promptly put you in touch with a specialized attorney who will help you proceed with the legal process and eventually recover the maximum compensation you deserve for your suffering.