Learn how CPAP machines grew popular, why victims of Philips devices are seeking legal action against the company, and if you qualify for legal counsel.
CPAP Machines Lawsuit
Defective Philips CPAP devices were recalled in 2021 over toxic sound absorption foam. After the recall, a mass tort litigation was kicked off to address the thousands of victims and bring Philips’ negligence to light. The number of injuries linked to these machines has only grown since the initial claims, encompassing dozens of cancers and complications.
What makes these lawsuits so significant is the rise of CPAP usage and the prevalence of injuries they treat. With victims still unaccounted for around the country and dozens of injuries linked to several machines, the best course of action is to look at the history of CPAP machines and what led to this recent string of lawsuits.
Sleep apnea is one of the most frequent conditions in the United States and is the primary injury treated by CPAP machines. Sleep apnea, or obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, is a regularly undiagnosed sleep-breathing disorder that has increased in prevalence over the past few years. Experts believe there are approximately 170 million people in North and South America, though this is a “conservative” estimate.
Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles at the back of the throat relax too much, narrowing or closing the airway and obstructing proper breathing. The result is a lower level of oxygen in the blood and victims awakening anywhere between five to 30 times every hour to reopen the airway.
Symptoms are numerous and varied, ranging from minor effects such as loud snoring to more concerning injuries, including waking in the night gasping for air, and high blood pressure. Additionally, many people with sleep apnea don’t realize they didn’t sleep well that night. It’s this trait that makes diagnosing sleep apnea so difficult as millions are unaware they are even afflicted with it.
Sleep apnea can develop in anyone, but certain factors can increase that risk. Certain weight issues, including diabetes, obesity, or excess weight, can cause sleep apnea as fat deposits around the upper airway can block breathing. Beyond weight factors, sleep apnea can be passed down if there is a family history of narrow airways or of the injury itself.
Other factors linked to sleep apnea are smoking, asthma, old age, high blood pressure, and chronic nasal congestion. Even without these circumstances, studies show males are two to three times more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea, and the risk for women increases after menopause.
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines work by taking in room air, pressurizing it, and delivering it through a tube and nasal mask. The airflow keeps your tongue, uvula, and soft palate from shifting into your airway, stabilizing breathing for the duration of sleep.
There are several variants of CPAP machines, each with its own treatment methods. Bi-level PAPs (BiPAPs) deliver a higher air pressure when users breathe in, and Auto CPAPs (APAPs) provide varying amounts of positive air pressure. Adaptive Servo Ventilation (ASV) delivers dynamic air pressure according to a user’s breathing patterns, differentiating it from CPAP, which delivers a set level of pressure through the night.
The benefits of using a CPAP machine and treating sleep apnea are improved sleep quality, a reduction of daytime sleepiness, and overall lowering the risks of heart attack and stroke. These benefits and the variety of machines to fit a specific user’s means have made CPAPs a popular treatment method, bringing the market value to $5.5 billion in 2022.
In June 2021, Philips recalled certain CPAP, BiPAP, and APAP machines after discovering the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam used for sound absorption would quickly break down. This foam would then expose users to toxic materials, causing them to breathe in either pieces of foam or dangerous chemicals directly. The recalled machines are:
- A-Series BiPAP A30
- A-Series BiPAP A40 (ventilator)
- A-Series BiPAP Hybrid A30
- A-Series BiPAP V30 Auto (ventilator)
- C-Series ASV (ventilator)
- C-Series S/T and AVAPS
- DreamStation ASV
- DreamStation Go
- DreamStation ST, AVAPS
- Dorma 400
- Dorma 500
- Garbin Plus, Aeris, LifeVent (ventilator)
- OmniLab Advanced+
- REMstar SE Auto
- SystemOne ASV4
- SystemOne (Q-Series)
- Trilogy 100 (ventilator)
- Trilogy 200 (ventilator)
The results have been thousands of victims reporting dozens of injuries, ranging from organ damage to severe cancers. Among the reported injuries are:
- Blood & Lymph Node Cancers
- Thyroid Cancers
- Oral Cancers (Throat Cancer, Sinus Cancer, Oral Cavity Cancer, etc.)
- Other Cancers (Lung, Prostate, Kidney, etc.)
- Other Injuries (Sarcoidosis, Respiratory failure, COPD, etc.)
Philips has already agreed to set aside millions of dollars to prepare for future settlements. The company set aside 575 million euros, or $615 million, in early 2023 and struck a deal to settle a number of lawsuits with an additional $479 million in September of the same year. It should be noted Philips has stated settlements will vary depending on the device victims used and will be compensated by only a fraction of these funds.
These settlements show Philips is willing to meet the demands of victims and are likely to become much more commonplace as victims come forth and hold the company accountable for their defective products.
How GLN Can Help You
The Guardian Legal Network has already connected over 200,000 people to experienced legal counsel fighting for their right to compensation. If you or someone you love was injured by a defective CPAP, BiPAP, or APAP machine, you may qualify for the same representation.
File a claim today and tell Philips you are not just another number. By taking action and qualifying for legal compensation from corporate negligence, you both secure present and future care costs and ensure this can never happen again.
Complete our no-cost online contact form or call us at (844) 961-3339 to seek legal action today.
- “CPAP Machine.” Cleveland Clinic, November 9, 2021. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22043-cpap-machine.
- “Obstructive Sleep Apnea.” Mayo Clinic, July 14, 2023. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obstructive-sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20352090.
- Pacheco, Danielle, and Abhinav Singh. “ASV Machines.” Sleep Foundation, January 18, 2023. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-apnea/asv-machines
- Pagán, Camille Noe. “BIPAP: How It Works, Benefits, and BiPAP vs Other Machines.” Edited by Melinda Ratini. WebMD, March 3, 2022. https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea/bipap-overview.
- Hobbins, Katie. “Philips Reaches First Class-Action Settlement in Ventilator Lawsuit.” Medical Device + Diagnostic Industry (MD+DI), September 7, 2023. https://www.mddionline.com/legal/philips-reaches-first-class-action-settlement-ventilator-lawsuit.
- “Philips Settles One Category of U.S. Claims over Respirator Recall.” Reuters, September 7, 2023. https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/dutch-company-philips-reaches-us-settlement-over-respirators-2023-09-07/.
- “Recalled Philips Ventilators, BIPAP Machines, and CPAP Machines.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed October 19, 2023. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/respiratory-devices/recalled-philips-ventilators-bipap-machines-and-cpap-machines.
- Santilli, Manlio, Eugenio Manciocchi, Gianmaria D’Addazio, Erica Di Maria, Michele D’Attilio, Beatrice Femminella, and Bruna Sinjari. “Prevalence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome: A Single-Center Retrospective Study.” International journal of environmental research and public health, September 29, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8508429/.
- “Sleep Apnea Devices Market Size Worth USD 8.6 Billion by 2030 at 6.52% CAGR – Report by Market Research Future (MRFR).” GlobeNewswire, March 13, 2023. https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2023/03/13/2625919/0/en/Sleep-Apnea-Devices-Market-Size-Worth-USD-8-6-Billion-by-2030-at-6-52-CAGR-Report-by-Market-Research-Future-MRFR.html.
- “Sleep Apnea More Common in Americas than Previously Thought.” Sleep Review, June 18, 2019. https://sleepreviewmag.com/sleep-disorders/breathing-disorders/obstructive-sleep-apnea/sleep-apnea-americas/.