The family of a Missouri man who died from esophageal cancer last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Philips, claiming that the company failed to promptly warn consumers that exposure to toxic particles or chemicals released by the sound abatement foam used in millions of its CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator devices could put users at risk for cancer and other serious health problems. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer allegedly caused by a recalled Philips CPAP machine, contact Consumer Safety Watch as soon as possible. We can help you determine whether you may be eligible for compensation from Philips by filing a product liability lawsuit against the company.
In a massive recall affecting more than 15 million Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (Bi-Level PAP), Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), and mechanical ventilator devices sold since 2009, Philips warned about “potential health risks related to the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam component in these devices.” The purpose of the sound abatement foam is to reduce noise and vibrations during use, since the machines are typically utilized at night as a remedy for sleep apnea. According to the CPAP recall announcement, issued by Philips on June 14, 2021, the sound abatement foam may break down over time and release toxic particles and/or chemicals into the device’s air pathway, where they can be inhaled or ingested by the user.
Perhaps even more alarming is the fact that an FDA inspection report issued after the CPAP recall indicates that Philips was aware of complaints and reports of issues with its PE-PUR foam deteriorating and posing serious health risks for users as early as 2008, yet failed to investigate the problem or take any corrective action until the devices were recalled in 2021. “The potential risks of particulate exposure include headache, irritation, inflammation, respiratory issues, and possible toxic and carcinogenic effects,” Philips stated in the 2021 recall announcement. “The potential risks of chemical exposure due to off-gassing include headache, irritation, hypersensitivity, nausea/vomiting, and possible toxic and carcinogenic effects.”
Philips already faces several hundred lawsuits filed by consumers who blame the defective PE-PUR foam for their cancer diagnoses and other health problems, some of which may be life-threatening. In a wrongful death lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on January 18, 2022, the surviving family members of Terrance P. Flynn seek damages from Amsterdam-based Koninklijke Philips N.V. and its American subsidiaries, alleging that the medical device makers waited too long to warn consumers that millions of their widely used sleep apnea devices could expose users to serious health risks. According to the lawsuit, Flynn was prescribed and purchased in November 2011 a Philips CPAP Remstar Plus PR Series, one of the devices included in the recall, and used the device on a daily basis until May 2020.
Flynn was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, resulting in his death on May 31, 2021, which the family’s wrongful death lawsuit claims was “a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ wrongful conduct in researching, developing, designing, manufacturing, selling, distributing, and marketing the [recalled CPAP device], and in failing to warn consumers such as the decedent and the medical community regarding its latent and foreseeable risk.” Among other things, the CPAP recall lawsuits brought against Philips allege that, as a result of using the company’s recalled sleep apnea machines, plaintiffs were exposed to toxic and harmful substances and suffered serious injuries that could have been avoided had Philips provided adequate warnings about the health risks associated with the devices.
All federal CPAP injury lawsuits brought against Philips have been centralized before Senior U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti in the Western District of Pennsylvania, for coordinated pretrial proceedings as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer or another serious health problem that you believe may be related to the massive Philips CPAP recall, do not hesitate to speak to a product liability lawyer about your legal options. You may be eligible to join the growing Philips recalled CPAP, BiPAP and mechanical ventilator litigation, which may allow you to recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Contact Consumer Safety Watch today to find out how we can help.