CPAP Lawsuit Update – February 2024

CPAP Lawsuit Update – February 2024
Legally Reviewed

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by Lawsuit Legal News' writers and attorneys and is accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from attorney.

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Lawsuit Legal News does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

If you or someone you love has sleep apnea, you are probably familiar with CPAP and BiPAP devices. What you may not know is that Philips (the largest manufacturer of these machines) has recalled its CPAP devices because some of the foam insulation is prone to disintegration. Users of these sleep aids expect clearer airways and better sleep. Instead, they’re breathing in dangerous pieces of foam causing serious lung problems and other medical conditions. 

CPAP users who have been diagnosed with medical issues are bringing lawsuits to recover financial compensation for their losses. All of the federal CPAP lawsuits were consolidated into multi-district litigation (MDL) to expedite the legal process, allow uniform evidence discovery, and produce consistent motion rulings.

At Lawsuit Legal News (LLN) it’s our mission to provide CPAP lawsuit updates to help keep injury victims up-to-date about the progress of this litigation. There are a growing number of lawsuits against Philips Respironics.

Official Court Information for the Philips CPAP Multi-District Litigation

Latest CPAP Lawsuit Updates

The official Case Docket for these cases is "MDL 3014, In Re: Philips Recalled CPAP, Bi-Level Pap, and Mechanical Ventilator Products Litigation". At this point, we expect the CPAP litigation will continue into 2024, but we are optimistic that Philips will try to settle these claims without the necessity of trials. The judge in charge of these cases is Joy Flowers Conti and she is located in the Western District of Pennsylvania.

CPAP Lawsuit Update - February 2024

**If you are considering filing a CPAP lawsuit for injuries caused by using these machines, or if you are already involved in the MDL, bookmark this page so you can check back for each new CPAP lawsuit update.

February 15, 2024 - Philips’ Medical Monitoring Obligation Up For Debate as Judge Seeks Additional Information

The Special Master for the CPAP lawsuits (a legal expert appointed by the court to advise on specific matters) recommended partially granting Respironics’ motion to dismiss the medical monitoring complaint. 

Medical monitoring refers to a legal procedure in which a court orders ongoing medical surveillance of individuals who have been exposed to a hazardous substance (in this case, the foam) but have not yet manifested any symptoms but want to make sure that their exposure doesn't cause health problems later in life.

The Special Master suggested dismissing claims because laws from 30 states state that for a claim to be valid, the plaintiff must demonstrate a clear, physical injury. Thus, medical monitoring is not a valid claim in these states.

Ultimately, it is the federal judge’s call, and Judge Joy Flowers Conti remained unconvinced by this argument. Her concern was that by simply dismissing all of the claims requesting medical monitoring, the court may be overlooking critical nuances in state laws that could compel Philips Respironics to provide medical monitoring services to certain CPAP users.

Now, we have to wait and see what research the Special Master returns with. Judge Conti could still decide to grant Philips Respironics’ motion to dismiss, relieving them of a duty to offer medical monitoring, but at least she would be doing so based on the full range of information available to the court.

The FDA has been tracking complaints against Philips CPAP machines for years, during which time a concerning pattern emerged. CPAP users across the country noted that the device’s foam was prone to deterioration, which often preceded the onset of serious respiratory issues and cancers. All told, at least 120,000 CPAP breathing machine users have reported this experience.

This data triggered a recall of various models of Philips CPAP and BiPAP machines used to treat sleep apnea, but for some, it was already too late. The FDA believes that the flawed devices are likely responsible for 561 fatalities since 2021 after unsuspecting CPAP users inhaled harmful levels of foam particles while they slept.

February 1, 2024 - Still Waiting on More Information about CPAP Lawsuit

We are still waiting on more information, which will likely come after the Status Conference. You will be the first to know once we find out anything.

January 22, 2024 - New Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Philips Added to CPAP MDL

A new wrongful death CPAP lawsuit has been filed in Illinois. It alleges that a man died due to Adenocarcinoma (a type of cancer in the glands that line an organ) caused by his use of Philips’ CPAP machine. The decedent used the Philips CPAP device from 2012 until he learned of the recall that included his model number.

This could be a very strong case against Philips, depending on the facts of the case. This wrongful death lawsuit will be consolidated with the rest of the cases into the CPAP MDL in the Western District of Pennsylvania, which is handling all these lawsuits.

According to the FDA, 385 people have died due to foam degradation in Philips CPAP machines as of April 2021. We do not currently know the latest figure on deaths.

January 21, 2024 - The Next Major Date in CPAP Lawsuit is the Status Conference

The Philips CPAP lawsuit is all set for the important status conference scheduled for March 2024. This conference will lay out the MDL's timeline, including bellwether trial dates, any changes, and plans for future proceedings. This conference is expected to give everyone a better understanding of how the lawsuit will move forward, specifically the pace.

January 19, 2024 - FDA Announces Class 1 Safety Alert on Resmed Masks

The FDA recently announced a recall of specific Resmed CPAP masks due to a safety concern related to their magnetic components. These magnets could potentially interact with certain implanted metallic medical devices or objects inside the body, causing injury or even death. The Class I recall, which is the FDA’s most serious warning, includes the Resmed AirFit and AirTouch models.

Resmed is not involved in the Philips CPAP lawsuits but ever since the recall was announced, many sleep apnea patients switched to Resmed, so heading this update could be very important to your health.

Metal devices that could be affected by the magnets in the Resmed masks include:

  • Pacemakers
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillators
  • Metallic stents
  • Neurostimulators, magnetic metallic implants, electrodes, and valves placed in the upper limbs, torso, neck, or head
  • Cerebral spinal fluid shunts
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Embolic coils
  • Intracranial aneurysm intravascular flow disruption devices
  • Metallic cranial plates, screws, burr hole covers, and bone substitute devices
  • Ocular implants (such as glaucoma implants and retinal implants)
  • Certain contact lenses that contain metal
  • Cochlear implants, implanted bone-conduction hearing devices, and auditory brainstem implants
  • Dental implants
  • Implantable ports and pumps (such as insulin and chemotherapy pumps)
  • Metallic shrapnel in the body

January 16, 2024 - New Cases Slow to a Trickle in Philips CPAP Lawsuit

Currently, the Philips CPAP MDL (multidistrict litigation) has 755 active cases. In the last three months, only 13 new cases have been registered, a significant decrease from the over 200 cases filed in the summer of 2023.

January 14, 2024 - "Suggestion of Death" Notice Reminds Us of Need for Expedited Resolution

MDLs move slowly but we were reminded this week of why a speedy trial is important even in civil lawsuits. One of the plaintiff's attorneys filed a "Suggestion of Death" notice last Thursday. This notice formally tells the court that one of the litigants has passed away and the personal injury case will be changed to a wrongful death case.

This serves as an important reminder of the need to expedite proceedings toward a resolution.

January 8, 2024 - Philips Blames SoClean

Philips claims that SoClean CPAP cleaner contributed to the foam degradation in some recalled machines, raising questions about potential third-party liability. Philips went one step further by claiming that SoClean was aware of this problem and misled distributors and consumers about the cleaners being safe for use with foam CPAP masks.

January 4, 2024 - Speculation about CPAP Cases with Strongest Settlement Potential

Legal experts suggest that Philips CPAP lawsuits with the strongest settlement potential involve cancer diagnoses of the lungs, head, or neck due to the stronger scientific link in these cases and the intuitive connection to exposure near the dangerous chemical source.

The second type of cases with the strongest settlement potential are asthma, Stage 4 COPD, pneumonitis, pulmonary fibrosis, or sarcoidosis due to their link to the lungs.

After that, liver cancer, kidney cancer, and diseases related to these organs may also be strong.

November 21, 2023 – Upcoming CPAP Deadlines Released

The United States District Court for the Western District Of Pennsylvania filed a document today known as a “Scheduling Order” that announced all the upcoming deadlines for the CPAP MDL Lawsuits (including the personal injury cases and medical monitoring cases).

Dates of Upcoming Court Deadlines and Timeline

  • February 16, 2024 - Settlement Mediator Welsh report is due to the court on the status of the mediations of personal injury claims.
  • April 30, 2024 - General causation fact discovery will conclude.
  • May 30, 2024 - Plaintiffs’ expert disclosures on general causation.
  • July 30, 2024 - Defendants’ expert disclosures on general causation.
  • July 30, 2024 - Conclusion of fact discovery, including defendant and non-party depositions. This deadline does not include case-specific fact discovery.
  • August 30, 2024 - Parties to submit proposals for the selection of individual bellwether trials for personal injury cases.
  • August 30, 2024 - Plaintiffs’ rebuttal expert disclosures on general causation.
  • October 30, 2024 - Deadline to complete expert depositions on general causation.
  • December 2, 2024 - Deadline to file Daubert motions on general causation experts.
  • January 17, 2025 - Deadline for parties to file oppositions to Daubert motions on general causation experts.
  • February 18, 2025 - Deadline for reply briefs on Daubert motions on general causation.
  • March 2025 or April 2025 - Potential hearing date on Daubert motions on general causation.

November 17, 2023 - Slow Down in Number of New CPAP MDL Cases

The MDL for the Philips CPAP lawsuit has started to slow down. The cases in the CPAP MDL had been tripling since the beginning of 2023 with an average of 50 new cases each month. However, not only has the number of cases added each month slowed down (just 12 new cases in October) there was also an overall drop in the number of cases, falling from 784 to 742. The lawyers at LLN are not sure why.

November 3, 2023 - Court Advised to Dismiss Philips' Dismissal Motion

In the CPAP Lawsuit MDL, a Special Master has submitted a report to the judge recommending the dismissal of most arguments presented by Philips in their motion to dismiss. The judge will likely accept the Special Master’s advice and reject Philips' motion.

October 23, 2023 - Philips Issues Recall on Ventilators

Philips Respironics has announced a recall on their V60 and V60 Plus Ventilators. According to the FDA, the issue involves the Power Management Printed Circuit Board Assemblies in these devices failing to meet required standards. Since these ventilators are used in non-ICU settings where a patient may not always be monitored, there is a risk that these machines could have a power failure and loss of ventilator function, leading to the patient's death.

There have been no reports of death or injuries related to this recall.

October 6, 2023 - FDA Still Not Satisfied with Phillips CPAP Recall Progress

The FDA said it's still not satisfied with how Philips has handled the CPAP recalls and wants the company to do additional risk testing. In a statement from the FDA, they said that they "do not believe that the testing and analysis Philips has [conducted] are adequate to fully evaluate the risks posed to users"

Philips claims that 5 independent laboratories tested the recalled CPAP devices but it agrees that more testing is needed for the protection of the consumer and to understand what caused the issues in the first place.

September 1, 2023 - Few Plaintiff Seek Remand Out of MDL

Yesterday was the deadline for any plaintiffs in the CPAP Lawsuits MDL to file motions to move their cases back to state court and out of the MDL. Only three motions to remand back to state court were filed. This is a good sign that everyone is confident in the MDL moving forward.

August 18, 2023 - New CPAP Lawsuit

A new CPAP lawsuit was filed by a man in Illinois. The plaintiff alleges that his CPAP machine, which he used for 7 years until the recall, caused him to contract kidney cancer. His cancer caused him to need his right kidney and adrenal gland removed in 2022. He and his wife seek compensation for their pain and suffering and other damages.

August 15, 2023 - More Philip Has Problems with Medical Devices

The FDA has issued a Class I warning (their highest warning) over concerns related to the Philips Trilogy Evo Ventilators. These ventilators have been recalled because of the possibility that the ventilators can release debris into the breathing tubes, posing an obvious risk to patients. So far, at least one death and two severe injuries have resulted from these machines.

Again, this is just another sign of the problems with Philips’ medical devices.

July 12, 2023 - CPAP Medical Monitoring Cases

The Philips CPAP MDL has two parts, personal injuries (including wrongful deaths) and medical monitoring where victims seek future medical monitoring in anticipation of potential diseases because they were using the defective Philips CPAP machines (which Philips challenged recently due to it being overly speculative)

If Philips wins the rebuttal to the medical monitoring cases they will likely have more money for the economic losses and personal injury categories.

July 1, 2023 - Canadian Class Action Created in St. John's, Newfoundland

US lawyers and law firms cannot typically accept cases involving Canadian claims. If you are Canadian and have been injured by a Philips CPAP, you can now join a national class action based in St. John's, Newfoundland. The legal team at LLN will be watching how the Canadian situation unfolds as well as the pending MDL in our country.

June 2023 - Statute of Limitations May Bar Some CPAP Lawsuits

June 14, 2023, was the 2 year anniversary of Philips' first CPAP recall. Since the recall notice was the first time CPAP users knew about potential CPAP issues, courts will probably use that date for when the statute of limitations began ticking on future legal claims. Users who live in states with a two-year statute of limitations must file their lawsuits or register their claim before June 14th to avoid being dismissed.

The total number of CPAP injury cases is now 548. After the statute of limitations has expired for some claims, our team hopes Philips will begin discussing case settlements, however, the first settlement is not expected anytime soon.

May 2023 - Philips Pays $62 Million to Settle SEC Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Charge

The SEC charged Philips with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act involving the sales of medical equipment to China. Philips claims the multi-million settlement was caused by "irregularities in the medical device industry" in China through 2019.

Another 64 new CPAP lawsuits were added to the MDL in April. However, in May, only 13 new cases were filed. The total is now 518 pending CPAP lawsuits.

April 2023 - Possible Settlements in Reimbursement Claims, Not For Personal Injury Cases, Another FDA Recall

The CEO of Philips is hoping to settle with CPAP users who brought a reimbursement claim related to recalled devices in 2023. Philips allocated $630 million on top of the prior $1 billion earmarked for product recall settlements. These settlements are for users who want reimbursement for the cost of their machines but no personal injury losses. The LLN team expects the personal injury and wrongful death claims will not be addressed before 2024.

The FDA announced another recall of refurbished Philips Dreamstation CPAP and BiPAP machines. Philips claims it has not received any reports of injured users, the complaint deals with inaccurate or insufficient therapy. This is a Class 1 recall which means the devices could lead to serious injury or death.

March 2023 - Philips Trying to Avoid Some CPAP Claims

Philips filed a motion to dismiss a group of CPAP lawsuits using several weak arguments. Specifically, Philips thinks the Short Form Complaint that’s required to join the MDL is inadequate and insufficient under lawsuit requirements. Ironically, Philips' own lawyers helped create the form, reviewed it, and agreed to the form before the court accepted it.

Philips also claims some of the claims are preempted by federal law. Of course, plaintiffs argued that Philips consented to the Short Form Complaint at the start, and the preemption arguments don’t apply to these cases.

February 2023 - More Bad News From the FDA

The FDA’s updated Medical Device Report about the Philips CPAP and BiPAP device recalls is alarming. In only three months, 8,000 serious adverse health incidents were reported and 90 more deaths have been linked to these devices. Overall, the FDA has received 98,000 health concerns and 350 death reports related to the recalled CPAP devices.

A record 62 new lawsuits were added to the CPAP MDL in the past 30 days. There are now 420 cases in this MDL. 

January 2023 - CPAP MDL Webpage is Created, Oral and Nasal Cavity Cancer Claims Filed While Philips Cuts 6,000 More Jobs

The Federal Court in the Western District of Pennsylvania has launched a Philips CPAP Recall MDL website containing a document index, copies of all court orders, and a litigation schedule.

New MDL lawsuits include one allegation of mouth and tongue cancers and another case involving nasal cavity cancer. Both plaintiffs allege their injuries are related to inhaling carcinogenic substances in the Philips CPAP foam particles. 

At the end of January, the plaintiffs are pushing to hold a bellwether trial in mid-2024. The defendants argue the first test trial is not possible until late 2025 or even 2026. Lastly, Philips announced it is cutting another 6,000 jobs in order to address corporate losses.



To learn more about the history of the pending CPAP lawsuit updates, be sure to read the CPAP Lawsuit Update page created by our affiliated law firm that is accepting and handling CPAP recall lawsuits for injured consumers. 

CPAP Machine/BIPAP Machine

A CPAP machine is a breathing device that creates continuous positive airway pressure and is used to treat sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder wherein an individual's breathing continuously stops and starts preventing deep sleep.  Sleep apnea can lead to a host of health issues. A CPAP machine sends a steady flow of oxygen into the nose and lungs while the user sleeps allowing for normal breathing.  

Philips also produces a BIPAP machine (Bilateral positive airway pressure) which allows the user to adjust pressure based on their breathing need.  

PE-PUR Foam Degradation and Harmful Lung Issues 

The polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam inside the Philips CPAP machine serves the purpose of absorbing unwanted noise and avoiding waking the user. Unfortunately, the polyurethane can degrade over time which in turn results in the foam releasing a toxic chemical into the user's airways.

As the foam breaks down, chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and microscopic pieces of black foam can be released and absorbed into the lungs.

It is believed that the breaking down of the foam is caused by age, humidity, heat, ozone cleaning solutions (a special gas made for cleaning CPAP machines, other non-recommended cleaning methods.

Simply put the materials that are used in the process of creating this foam are toxic and not meant to be inhaled or ingested by humans in any way.

The American Cancer Society lists urethane, benzene, formaldehyde, and VOCs, all of which are released as the foam degrades, as a likely carcinogen (cancer-causing material).  

The types of cancer, medical issues, and potential health risks caused by these devices to CPAP include:

  • Lung cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Bladder cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Breast cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Reactive airway disease (RAD)
  • Lung or pulmonary disease
  • Rectal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Asthma
  • Nasal cancer
  • Cardio Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Respiratory issues/respiratory injuries
  • Organ damage

Which Defective Sleep Apnea Machines Did Philips Recall?

Several models of CPAP and BiPAP breathing machines have been recalled due to issues with the polyurethane foam lining the devices’ masks. Recalled sleep apnea breathing machines include:

  • Aeris
  • A-Series BiPAP
  • AVAPS
  • C-Series ASV
  • Dorma 400
  • Dorma 500 CPAP
  • DreamStation ASV
  • DreamStation Auto CPAP
  • DreamStation BiPAP
  • DreamStation CPAP
  • DreamStation Go
  • DreamStation ST
  • Garbin Plus
  • LifeVent
  • OmniLab Advanced Plus
  • REMStar SE Auto CPAP
  • SystemOne ASV4
  • SystemOne (Q-Series)
  • Trilogy 100 and 200

CPAP Lawsuit Update – 2024

The deterioration of Pe-Pur toxic sound abatement foam in sleep apnea devices can lead to a number of dangerous gases and harmful chemicals released that have carcinogenic effects such as benzene, formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds. There is enough anecdotal evidence about the dangers related to Pe-Pur sound abatement foam.  We cannot ignore the carcinogenic chemicals contained in the sound abatement foam.

If you or a loved one was injured by a Philips CPAP or BiPAP device, you may have the legal right to bring a lawsuit to recover your losses. Every situation is different, so it’s important to speak with an experienced law firm that understands the latest CPAP lawsuit update and handles these types of cases. Call us at 866-467-0943 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation now.

 

Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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