Phillips CPAP Machine Lawsuit

Thousands of people across the world relied on Phillips’ CPAP machines and other respiratory devices to treat sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Phillips recently recalled a number of respiratory devices due to problems with defective foam breaking down and entering the air pathways of the devices. The majority of the recalled devices were CPAP machines, used to treat sleep apnea, but some were BI-PAP machines and respirators.

Phillips didn’t have enough replacement foam that had undergone testing to ensure its safety for use in CPAP machines on hand. This meant that patients who relied upon their CPAP machines to breathe at night would have to wait to receive replacement foam. The recall may be drawn out until September of 2022, leaving many with no safe CPAP machine of their own, no loaner CPAP machine from Phillips, and insurance or Medicare refusing to pay for a new CPAP machine.

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Jump to topic
  • Why Are There Phillips CPAP Machine Lawsuits?
    • What Symptoms Can Inhaling the Foam Particles Cause?
    • Are There Problems with the Phillips CPAP Machine Recall?
  • Has the FDA Investigated Phillips?
  • Have There Been Any Phillips CPAP Machine Lawsuit Settlements?
  • What Are the Current Phillips CPAP Machine Lawsuits?
  • Should I Consider a Phillips CPAP Machine Lawsuit?
    • Can I Join a Class-Action Lawsuit Against Phillips?
    • How Do I Find a Phillips CPAP Machine Lawyer?
    • Who Is the Right Attorney to Handle My Phillips CPAP Machine Lawsuit?

Why Are There Phillips CPAP Machine Lawsuits?

Phillips has recalled a number of CPAP machines, BI-PAP machines, and respirators because the foam used in the machines to dampen sound and reduce vibrations was defective. The foam would break down and then black particles from the foam could travel into the air passageways of the breathing devices and from there into the user’s lungs. These particles could cause numerous negative symptoms if inhaled.

What Symptoms Can Inhaling the Foam Particles Cause?

Inhalation of the black debris from the defective foam can cause symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Chest pressure
  • Upper airway irritation
  • Sinus infection
  • Skin irritation
  • Eye irritation
  • Respiratory tract irritation
  • Nose irritation
  • Inflammatory response
  • Asthma
  • Dizziness
  • Carcinogenic or toxic effects on organs such as the kidney or liver
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

The symptoms above are ones that people have complained of when making reports to Phillips about the black debris entering the air pathways of their CPAP machines from the defective foam breaking down.

Are There Problems with the Phillips CPAP Machine Recall?

Another reason someone may initiate a lawsuit against Phillips over the CPAP machine recall is the delay in replacement foam. Phillips didn’t have enough replacement kits to replace the defective foam in all of the devices that were currently being used by patients. This means that some people who rely on CPAP machines to treat their sleep apnea have to wait to receive their replacement foam. 

Many have reported that Phillips was not offering loaner CPAP machines during the period while they were waiting. On top of that, insurance companies and Medicare didn’t want to pay for new CPAP machines unless the defective device was older than five years old. The cost of a CPAP machine is high enough that it’s prohibitively expensive for many people to just buy a new one out of pocket.

This meant that many patients had to seek alternative treatments for their sleep apnea or were unable to properly treat their sleep apnea.

Has the FDA Investigated Phillips?

After the recall was issued in 2021, the FDA performed an investigation of Phillips’ CPAP machine manufacturing facility, which is located in Pennsylvania. The investigation included looking into the manufacturing process and Phillips’ records in order to determine what could have caused or at least contributed to the defects in the foam used to manufacture the CPAP machines and other respiratory devices.

The FDA investigation found that Phillips had been aware of issues with the CPAP machine foam for years, as long ago as 2015, but had failed to act on that knowledge. The investigation found that no changes were made to the design and no corrective actions were made in order to address the issue. This means that Phillips knowingly allowed patients to inhale harmful particles from defective foam, risking cancer and other injuries, for six years before they were forced to recall the affected devices.

Have There Been Any Phillips CPAP Machine Lawsuit Settlements?

While some are speculating that lawsuit settlements against Phillips regarding their defective CPAP machines could range into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, at this point in the legal process, no settlements have been made. Lawsuits are still ongoing and it’s therefore too soon to tell what the results of any current lawsuits will be.

What Are the  Current Phillips CPAP Machine Lawsuits?

As of 2021, Phillips Respironics was facing over 90 lawsuits regarding CPAP machines and other breathing devices. This number later increased to 104 and many of the cases were consolidated class action lawsuits as well as individual lawsuits into a multidistrict legal action in Western Pennsylvania. Now, in light of the FDA investigation that found that Phillips had been aware of the issue with the defective foam since 2015 yet made no effort to change the manufacturing process or the design and didn’t recall the affected devices until 2021, Phillips may be facing thousands more lawsuits.

Should I Consider a Phillips CPAP Machine Lawsuit?

If you used a Phillips CPAP machine, BI-PAP machine, or respirator between 2015 and 2021 that has been recalled for at least six months and have experienced any of the following symptoms:

  • Airway irritation
  • Airway inflammation
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Lung Damage
  • New or worsening asthma
  • Pneumonia
  • Lung cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Heart attack/heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Respiratory failure
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease

you should speak to an attorney. You may have a case against Phillips because the company was aware of issues with the foam in its CPAP machines as far back as 2015 but didn’t take any actions to correct the problem. Consulting with a lawyer will not only help determine the strength of your case against Phillips but will also help you to understand all of your options.

Can I Join a Class-Action Lawsuit Against Phillips?

Depending on where you live, there may be a class-action lawsuit against Phillips already ongoing in your district. Your attorney can help you through the process of determining if you’re eligible to join a class-action lawsuit and doing so if you are. Typically, if you’re eligible to join a class-action lawsuit, the attorneys leading the case will have sent you a communication to inform you. If you didn’t receive information from a lawyer regarding a class-action lawsuit you may be eligible for, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t eligible for a lawsuit at all. You may just not meet the qualifications they’re looking for for that particular case. It’s a good idea to speak to a lawyer regardless so you can determine your options and next steps.

How Do I Find a Phillips CPAP Machine Lawyer?

If you have experienced negative effects to your health from using a Phillips CPAP machine, BI-PAP machine, or ventilator, then you may be eligible to receive compensation for the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Medical costs
  • Temporary or permanent disability

It’s important to hire the right attorney to represent you so that you can rest assured your case is in good hands.

Who Is the Right Attorney to Handle My Phillips CPAP Machine Lawsuit?

If you’re in need to legal representation against Phillips, one of the largest technology companies in the world, contact Seeger Weiss. Seeger Weiss’ attorneys are highly experienced in lawsuits against companies that manufacture medical devices. At Seeger Weiss, the lawyers are determined to help those who suffered at the hands of companies that chose profits over people’s health and safety. For a free consultation regarding your case, contact Seeger Weiss right away.

View Sources

  1. Center for Devices and Radiological Health. (n.d.). Certain philips respironics ventilators, BiPAP, CPAP machines recalled. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved April 25, 2022, from https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/safety-communications/certain-philips-respironics-ventilators-bipap-and-cpap-machines-recalled-due-potential-health-risks 
  2. FDA. (n.d.). Www.fda.gov. FDA. Retrieved April 26, 2022, from https://www.fda.gov/media/154099/download 
  3. Person, & Grzincic, B. (2021, September 30). MDL Watch: Panel to weigh CPAP, sunscreen actions. Reuters. Retrieved April 25, 2022, from https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/mdl-watch-panel-weigh-cpap-sunscreen-actions-2021-09-29/

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