Deadlines in Philips CPAP Lawsuits Outlined in Advance of Status Conference

Philips officials have indicated they hope to reach a Philips CPAP lawsuit settlement this year, which may resolve the claims before early bellwether trials begin.

Lawyers involved in Philips CPAP lawsuits met today with the U.S. District Judge presiding over the litigation, to review the status of class action and personal injury claims being pursued over toxic sound abatement foam used in millions of recalled breathing machines, as well as approaching deadlines as the parties prepare to select a group of representative claims for a series of early trial dates.

The litigation stems from a Philips CPAP DreamStation recall first announced in July 2021, which impacted millions of CPAP, BiPAP and mechanical ventilators that contained a defective polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam. Although the foam was intended to cut down on noise as the machines were used, the manufacturer has since acknowledged it tends to degrade and breakdown, releasing small black particles, chemicals and toxic gasses directly into the machine’s air pathways.

Due to the serious health issues from breathing the Philips CPAP foam, consumers were told to immediately stop using their machines unless needed for life supporting treatment. More than two years later, amid continuing concerns about the way Philips handled the recall, the manufacturer has recently announced that it is suspending sales of all its CPAP and breathing machine devices in the U.S., as part of a consent decree with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Department of Justice.

While the manufacturer has reached agreements to resolve consumer class action claims, which sought reimbursements for owners of the recalled machines, the company continues to face lawsuits seeking medical monitoring for former users, as well as personal injury lawsuits that seek financial compensation for various health complications linked to the toxic foam, including cancers, lung damage and respiratory injuries.

Philips CPAP Recall Lawsuit

Was your Philips CPAP machine recalled?

Millions of recalled Philips DreamStation, CPAP, BiPAP and ventilator machines may release toxic foam particles and chemicals into the air pathway.

Learn More About this Lawsuit See If You Qualify For Compensation

Given similar questions of fact and law raised in the complaints, all Philips CPAP lawsuits, including both class action and individual claims, have been centralized before Senior U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti in the Western District of Pennsylvania, for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL).

Philips CPAP Lawsuit Deadlines

Today, the parties met with Judge Conti for a status conference, and submitted a joint notice (PDF) this week that outlined various approaching deadlines in the Philips CPAP lawsuits that are approaching over the next 18 months, including:

  • Conclusion of general causation fact discovery on April 30, 2024;
  • Joint submission of competing proposals for the selection of individual bellwether lawsuits by August 30, 2024;
  • Challenges to the admissibility of expert witness testimony in early 2025; and
  • A series of pretrial hearings in March 2025 or April 2025, to determine which expert witnesses will be permitted to testify at trial.

According to a minute entry posted following the status conference, Judge Conti reviewed items on the agenda (PDF) submitted by the parties on February 27, including an update on the discovery process, a motion to dismiss the medical monitoring class action lawsuit and progress in Philips CPAP settlement negotiations with a court-appointed Special Master.

If a settlement is not reached in the coming months, the parties will begin preparing a small group of representative claims for early “bellwether” trials, which will be used to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the litigation.

While the outcome of these early verdicts will not have any binding impact on other plaintiffs, the average Philips CPAP lawsuit payout amounts awarded by juries are likely to have a big influence on how much the manufacturer will pay to settle claims, to avoid each claim being remanded to different U.S. District Courts nationwide for separate trial dates in the future.

2024 Philips CPAP Lawsuit Settlement Update

The manufacturer has already indicated it hopes to reach a global settlement for Philips CPAP lawsuits some time this year. However, negotiations for the personal injury claims will be complex, given the wide variety of different types of cancer and lung damage individual plaintiffs have alleged may be caused side effects of the Philips CPAP machines, including:

  • Leukemia, Lymphoma or other Cancers
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis, Sarcoidosis or other Lung Diseases
  • Chronic Asthma, Bronchitis or Pneumonia
  • Liver Injury, Kidney Injury, Heart Attack, Stroke or Heart Failure

In the event the parties fail to settle all Philips CPAP lawsuits or reach another resolution during the bellwether process, Judge Conti may begin remanding claims back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trial dates in the future.

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