A new lawsuit brought against Philips alleges that defective sound abatement foam used in a DreamStation CPAP machine caused her to develop lung cancer. According to the claim, filed November 23, 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alabama by plaintiff Vicki Baker, Philips’ now-recalled sleep apnea machines contained flawed sound abatement foam that degraded over time and released toxic particles and chemicals into the devices’ air pathway. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer and you believe a recalled Philips DreamStation sleep apnea machine to be the cause, contact Consumer Safety Watch today. We can ensure that you understand your legal options and put you in touch with a qualified attorney who has experience handling product liability claims like yours.
Consumers expect life-saving medical devices like Philips’ CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator machines to function the way they are meant to without exposing users to unnecessary health risks. Unfortunately, when manufacturing companies fail to properly warn patients about the potential side effects associated with their medical devices, those patients may be at risk for serious or even life-threatening harm. This latest CPAP cancer claim brought by Vicki Baker joins a growing number of lawsuits alleging that Philips’ recalled CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator devices were manufactured with defective polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam that increased the risk of cancer for long-term users who breathed in toxic chemicals and/or foam particles.
The Philips CPAP injury lawsuits were filed on the heels of a massive recall issued by the company in June 2021, which has affected more than 15 million CPAP and BiPAP devices and ventilators manufactured by Philips. These machines are designed to provide breathing assistance to patients struggling with sleep apnea or those who are unable to breathe on their own. However, according to the FDA’s recall announcement, “The polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam, which is used to reduce sound and vibration in these affected devices, may break down and potentially enter the device’s air pathway.” The agency warned that if this happens, “black debris from the foam or certain chemicals released into the device’s air pathway may be inhaled or swallowed by the person using the device.”
Baker says in her lawsuit that she was prescribed and purchased a Philips DreamStation CPAP machine in April 2018, after she was diagnosed with sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. According to her claim, she used the machine on a daily basis for several years and was ultimately diagnosed with adenocarcinoma lung cancer in December 2019.
Baker and other DreamStation users were never warned about any problems with the devices’ sound abatement foam, yet an FDA inspection report released late last month suggests that Philips repeatedly failed to investigate reports of PE-PUR foam degradation issues and complaints related to Trilogy ventilator devices manufactured by another Philips entity. In other words, Philips seemingly knew about the problem with the degrading sound abatement foam for years but did nothing to correct the problem or warn users.
“Defendants wrongfully withheld from the information sphere the true risk and benefits – the important information about the medical devices at issue,” Baker’s lawsuit states. “Because of this negative propaganda campaign, Defendants helped convince major medical institutions, providers, and learned intermediaries that in many patients the benefits still outweigh the risks for these Recalled Devices.”
Over the past several months, more than 100 Philips CPAP lawsuits like Baker’s have been filed in federal courts across the country, each involving similar allegations that exposure to defective sound abatement foam in Philips’ recalled CPAP, BiPAP, and mechanical ventilator devices exposed users to a risk of cancer, major respiratory problems, and other serious health risks. The CPAP lawsuits filed in the federal court system have been centralized before Senior District Judge Joy Flowers Conti in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, for coordinated pretrial proceedings as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). For more information about the ongoing CPAP litigation, or to find out if you are eligible to file a claim against Philips for cancer or another serious health problem allegedly related to the company’s recalled CPAP, BiPAP, or ventilator devices, contact Consumer Safety Watch today.