Lawsuit Alleges Philips Respironics DreamStation Auto CPAP Device Caused Lung Cancer After Years of Using Recalled Sleep Apnea Machine
A recently filed product liability lawsuit claims side effects of a Philips Respironics DreamStation Auto CPAP device, caused a Kansas man to develop lung cancer, after years of breathing toxic particles from the recalled sleep apnea machine’s sound abatement foam.
The complaint (PDF) was brought by Robert Dix in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas on April 26, accusing Koninklijke Philips and its North American subsidiaries of selling defective and dangerous CPAP devices, while ignoring known health risks for users.
A Philips CPAP device recall was announced in June 2021, impacting millions of breathing machines sold over the past decade, which contained a polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam. While the foam was intended to reduce noise and vibrations while consumers use the device every night for treatment of sleep apnea, it is now known that the sound foam breaks down and degrades, releasing particles and debris directly into the machine’s air pathways, CPAP mask and ultimately the lungs of users.
Breathing the chemicals, gasses and particles released by the PE-PUR foam has been linked to cancer risks, lung damage and severe respiratory injuries, according to allegations raised in hundreds of Philips CPAP device lawsuits now being pursued by former users.
The lawsuit indicates Dix was prescribed a Philips’ Respironics Dream Station Auto CPAP device in March 2016, for the treatment of his sleep apnea. He used the device for several years before being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2019, which the lawsuit blames on the toxic sound abatement foam.
Dix’s lawsuit also claims he developed respiratory damage, cellular damage and damage to his DNA as a result of the CPAP device.
“Plaintiff’s use of the subject device caused or significantly contributed to his development and progression of lung cancer, which has permanently changed his life,” the lawsuit states. “By reason of the foregoing, Plaintiff has had to undergo significant treatment, including a lobectomy, and will be required to undergo significant treatment in the future, and now requires constant and continuous medical monitoring and treatment due to the defective nature of the subject device and/or Defendants’ wrongful conduct.”
The complaint will be centralized with other product liability lawsuits and class action lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system, which are currently consolidated before Senior U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti in the Western District of Pennsylvania for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.
In the coming years, it is expected that Judge Conti will establish a bellwether program where small groups of representative CPAP lawsuits will be prepared for early trial dates, to help gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the claims.
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