Philips CPAP Lawsuit Updates & News | May 2024

Editorial Team


Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.


Read in 12 mins

Americans relying on Philips CPAP and BiPAP machines should know the potential risks and recognize the signs of exposure to the degraded foam has become paramount. This has been the main culprit behind the recall and lawsuits.

You can follow the FDA Safety Communication regarding Philips CPAP lawsuit updates and developments here:

  1. Outlines a $1.075 billion settlement. To qualify, claimants must be U.S. citizens represented by a lawyer before April 29, 2024, or be pro se victims with existing claims, and must have used recalled devices.

    After the agreement's execution, lawyers and pro se litigants must identify eligible claimants within 30 days. Failure to do so results in ineligibility unless exceptions are granted.

    Philips will contribute $25 million within 14 days to cover administrative costs, with the remaining $1.05 billion deposited by January 6, 2025. Disbursement is scheduled for 2025.

    Claimants can opt out but must meet stringent requirements, including detailed medical records and expert reports within 90 days. The process is challenging and few are expected to succeed.

  2. The CPAP class action MDL saw an addition of 25 new cases in April, bringing the total to 787. The recent announcement of a global settlement deal could impact future case volumes in the MDL.

  3. Philips has agreed to pay $1.075 billion to settle CPAP-related claims, with the specifics of fund distribution still to be determined by CPAP leadership and the court. While the average settlement might approximate $18,000 assuming 59,000 claims, a points system will ultimately dictate the final compensation amounts, potentially leading to significant variability among recipients. Settlement checks are expected to be issued in 2025, once the distribution system is finalized. More details on the settlement documents are anticipated next week.

  4. This morning, news broke of a $1.1 billion settlement in a series of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, significantly lower than the expected $4.5 billion. A court docket entry indicated the cancellation of a status hearing set for May 15, 2024. Specifics of the settlement remain undisclosed, sparking questions about the settlement's structure and the calculation method for victim compensation. It is anticipated that a point system will be used, categorizing injuries by severity and other factors such as causation and length of usage. Further details on how points will be assigned are currently speculative.

  5. An amended complaint was filed today for a Tennessee man alleging that his use of a recalled CPAP machine caused heart damage. As a result, he claims he will require lifelong blood thinner medication.

  6. A New Jersey resident from Asbury Park, formerly of New York City, has initiated a lawsuit against Philips over their CPAP machine. The plaintiff, who used the device for obstructive sleep apnea, underwent a kidney transplant in June 2018 after being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. The lawsuit addresses the statute of limitations, claiming the plaintiff only became aware of the injuries linked to the CPAP machine in 2022 after investigating the device's potential health risks to users.

  7. Philips has requested to dismiss the Second Amended Master Long Form Complaint, claiming that federal law preempts the plaintiffs' negligence claims regarding their product recall. The company also questions the applicability of state laws and consumer protection statutes to prescription medical devices and the adequacy of pre-suit notice.

    However, these arguments are likely to fail. The plaintiffs argue their claims are based on state-specific duties, independent of federal regulations, and assert that their pre-suit notice was appropriate. They also contend that Philips' additional defenses related to consumer protection standing are irrelevant and underdeveloped for this stage of the litigation.

  8. Philips CPAP recall class action MDL has witnessed a slight uptick, with 14 new cases filed in the last month. This update brings the total count of pending lawsuits to 762, up from 755 at the start of the year.

  9. The CPAP recall MDL experienced a decrease of 12 cases over the last 30 days due to dismissals, bringing the total to 748 pending cases.

  10. A mediator's briefing to the Court on the ongoing settlement discussions in the Philips CPAP recall litigation is scheduled for today. These talks aim to resolve claims related to respiratory issues, cancers, and other ailments linked to the toxic sound abatement foam used in the devices.

  11. Philips has initiated a recall of its BrightView imaging systems, including several models produced between September 2007 and June 2013, due to the risk of the detector unexpectedly falling.

  12. An upcoming mediator's report could significantly advance settlement discussions in the Philips CPAP recall litigation, amid revelations of 561 deaths linked to the devices. With federal regulators highlighting severe health risks from toxic foam degradation, the litigation sees a slow case growth, adding only five new cases in January 2024 for a total of 760. This phase underscores the urgency of resolving claims and addressing safety concerns.

  13. Philips Respironics announced it will stop selling CPAP devices in the U.S. for the foreseeable future as part of a consent decree agreement with federal authorities, resolving a 2-year investigation into product safety issues.

    The CPAP recall MDL saw a slow month, with only 5 new cases added in January, bringing the total to 760 pending cases.

  14. Settlements for CPAP wrongful death and injury claims are anticipated in late 2024 or early 2025. Philips CEO Roy Jakobs has expressed a desire to resolve these claims in 2024, but realistic settlement amounts may not emerge until trial pressures intensify.

  15. Philips has targeted SoClean in the CPAP recall issue, alleging their involvement in the degradation of insulating foam in CPAP machines. Key aspects of Philips' claim are:

    Role of SoClean: Philips asserts that SoClean's ozone cleaners contributed to the deterioration of PE-PUR foam in its CPAP devices.

    Misleading Promotions: Philips accuses SoClean of deceiving distributors and consumers about the safety of their products for Philips' equipment.

    Shared Liability: This claim suggests that SoClean may share responsibility for the degradation issues in Philips' CPAP machines.

    This development adds complexity to the CPAP recall situation, hinting at possible shared fault between Philips and SoClean.

  16. Philips, a company once renowned for its quality, faces yet another product recall, this time involving an MRI system. While distinct from the previous CPAP recall, this latest issue underscores a broader concern about the company's commitment to product safety. As Philips navigates these challenges, it's imperative for the company to prioritize the development of safe products for consumers.

    This commitment is not only crucial for maintaining consumer trust and the company's reputation but also vital for its financial stability. Philips is expected to address significant settlements in 2024 related to personal injury and wrongful death claims from the CPAP recall. Ensuring product safety is a key step towards safeguarding its profitability and ability to fulfill these financial obligations.

  17. The CPAP recall class action lawsuit against Phillips currently has 754 pending cases, with a modest increase of 12 new cases in the last 30 days. Despite a brief surge in new case filings during July and August, recent months have seen a return to a lower rate of approximately 10-15 new cases monthly. This trend suggests a stabilization in the number of new claims being added to the MDL.

  18. The CPAP litigation is steadily moving forward, though the pace reflects the complexities typical of mass tort cases. Key upcoming deadlines include:

    • Feb 16, 2024: Mediator's report on personal injury settlement mediations.
    • Apr 30, 2024: End of general causation fact discovery.
    • May 30, 2024: Plaintiffs' expert disclosures on general causation.
    • Jul 30, 2024: Defendants' expert disclosures on general causation and end of common fact discovery.
    • Aug 30, 2024: Submission of bellwether case selection proposals and plaintiffs’ rebuttal expert disclosures.
    • Oct 30, 2024: Completion of expert depositions on general causation.
    • Dec 2, 2024: Deadline for Rule 702/Daubert motions on general causation experts.
    • Jan 17, 2025: Opposition deadline for Rule 702/Daubert motions.
    • Feb 18, 2025: Reply brief deadline for Rule 702/Daubert motions.
    • Mar/Apr 2025: Potential hearing date for Rule 702/Daubert motions.

    Given this timeline, the first CPAP trial is expected in mid to late 2025. While the duration of such mass tort cases can be disheartening, there's hope that Philips will fulfill its commitment to propose reasonable settlements in 2023, potentially resolving many claims ahead of trial. The effectiveness of this strategy remains to be seen.

  19. In a surprising turn of events, the Philips CPAP recall class action Multi-District Litigation (MDL), which has been gradually progressing and expanding by approximately 50 new cases monthly, experienced a decline in case numbers this month. Contrary to the previously observed growth trend that led to an over 300% increase this year, the MDL saw a reduction of 42 cases, bringing the current total of pending cases down to 742. The reason behind this unexpected decrease in case count remains unclear, marking a notable deviation from the MDL's previous trajectory.

  20. In the ongoing litigation surrounding Philips' CPAP devices, the company had previously attempted to mitigate legal pressures by filing a motion to dismiss various claims raised by plaintiffs. Last month, the appointed Special Master in the case delivered a Report and Recommendation to the presiding MDL Judge, asserting that Philips’ dismissal motion lacks substantiation and should be rejected.

    Recently, Philips has countered with an Objection to the Special Master's Recommendations, persisting in their argument that certain plaintiff claims are unfounded and should be dropped. Despite this challenge, expectations are that the Judge will likely concur with the Special Master's initial assessment, indicating a continuation of the legal battle for Philips without the dismissal of any claims.

  21. In an unexpected turn, Philips is facing another product recall. This time, it's their Respironics division's V60 and V60 Plus Ventilators that are under scrutiny. The FDA has identified a defect in the Power Management Printed Circuit Board Assemblies of these devices. This recall affects a total of nine ventilators: eight distributed within the US and one in the Philippines. The flawed components originated from an external warehouse. Fortunately, no injuries or deaths have been reported in relation to this issue, contrasting with the more severe concerns related to the CPAP machine recall previously highlighted on this platform.

  22. Following our September 7th report on the CPAP class action lawsuit settlement concerning consumer claims, additional information has surfaced regarding the compensation methodology for victims. Philips has pledged to allocate no less than $479 million for this settlement, benefiting both direct purchasers of the implicated respiratory devices and insurance providers who executed reimbursements.

    Recall-affected consumers can anticipate compensation amounts between $56 and $1,552, plus an extra $100 incentive for returning the recalled units. The settlement has received preliminary approval from Judge Joy Flowers Conti of the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, with a conclusive hearing slated for April 11, 2024. Legal fees and lawsuit expenses, amounting to $95 million, are being pursued by the plaintiffs' attorneys within this settlement framework.

    While this development primarily pertains to consumer claims, it's tangential to the personal injury and fatality lawsuits we are actively pursuing. Nonetheless, Philips' inclination towards settlement suggests an aversion to trial, potentially prefacing a comprehensive settlement offer for all outstanding claims.

  23. In a recent development within the CPAP recall MDL, both sides have collaboratively submitted a joint motion seeking the Court's approval for revisions to the Plaintiff Fact Sheets (PFS) required from all new plaintiffs entering the MDL. These proposed alterations are designed to streamline the data collection process, facilitating more effective ranking and categorization of incoming personal injury plaintiffs.

  24. A new Case Management Order introduced revised scheduling deadlines. The admissibility of expert testimony challenges is set for August 2024, with a hearing in February 2025, indicating a potential long duration for the MDL.

  25. A significant surge in CPAP lawsuits was noted, with 125 new cases added to the MDL, bringing the active total to 673. This month also highlighted the contrast between injury and medical monitoring claims. Philips contested the latter, citing a lack of evidence for prolonged exposure risks from device foam toxins. The broader MDL, rooted in Pittsburgh, includes diverse claims ranging from economic losses to long-term health monitoring. As the legal landscape evolves, Philips has reserved $633.17 million for potential settlements, suggesting a strategic approach to funds allocation.

  26. The class action MDL saw the addition of 30 new injury lawsuits, reaching a total of 548 cases. Potential claimants were also reminded of the critical June 14 deadline, marking two years since the Philips CPAP recall announcement.

  27. The month witnessed varying activity, from Philips settling a $62 million issue regarding sales practices in China, to a significant rise in the number of new CPAP recall lawsuits in March and a decline in April. Another highlight was the case of Deidra Jackson Holmes, filed directly in the MDL, alleging that her recalled CPAP machine caused her multiple health complications.

  28. Philips continued facing challenges with the Dreamstation CPAP and BiPAP, as the FDA announced a Class I recall for certain refurbished devices. Philips CEO Roy Jakobs expressed hope for settlements with those seeking reimbursement in consumer class action lawsuits within the year, while injury settlements are anticipated next year.

  29. Legal developments included Philips' motion to dismiss the CPAP lawsuits, a move believed by many to have little chance of success.

  30. The FDA released updated data, revealing that 98,000 adverse health incident reports related to recalled CPAP devices had been received, with 350 reported fatalities.

  31. Philips announced a reduction of over 6,000 jobs following its struggles post-recall. In the legal arena, lawyers on both sides of the CPAP recall MDL proposed different case management strategies, with plaintiffs pushing for a trial in mid-2024 and the defense aiming for 2025 or later.

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