Information About Philips CPAP Settlements for Class Action Claims To Be Posted on Court’s Website
The U.S. District Judge presiding over all federal Philips CPAP recall lawsuits has been asked to publish information about a class action settlement, which will resolve economic loss claims for individuals who owned sleep apnea machines that contained a toxic sound abatement foam. However, the Philips CPAP settlement does not impact thousands of individual injury lawsuits being pursued over cancers, lung damage and other health problems caused by the machines.
The litigation stems from a Philips recall issued in 2021, which impacted millions of the CPAP, BiPAP and mechanical ventilator machines that contained a defective polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam. Although the foam was intended to help reduce noise and vibrations, it has since been discovered that the foam tends to break down over time, releasing toxic particles and gases which may enter the machines’ air pathways.
In the wake of the recall, Philips has faced both personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits brought on behalf of former users diagnosed with certain injuries linked to inhaling the foam particles. However, the company also faces a Philips CPAP class action lawsuit filed on behalf of all owners of the recalled machines, seeking compensation for economic damages suffered by consumers, even if they have not been diagnosed with an injury.
In September, Philips announced it will pay at least $445 million in a CPAP recall class action settlement to individuals who bought, rented or leased one of the impacted devices, and another $34 million to health insurance companies and others who paid to reimburse users to replace the machines. However, the deal has no impact on individuals’ ability to continue pursuing personal injury lawsuits over cancers, respiratory disease and other side effects caused by Philips CPAP foam particles breaking down.
Plaintiffs who are part of the class action lawsuits will receive $100 for each device they returned to Philips due to the recall, and another $50 to $1,500 in compensation, depending on the type of device the plaintiffs used. In addition, plaintiffs may be eligible for extended warranties on devices that were repaired or refurbished by the manufacturer.
Philips CPAP Class Action Settlement Information
All Philips CPAP lawsuits, 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).
On December 7, the parties submitted a joint motion (PDF) which asks Judge Conti to allow them to publish the economic loss class settlement notice on the court’s website.
Judge Conti granted preliminary approval to the settlement agreement in early October, and publishing of the information for access by potential participants is a standard procedure. However, in the motion, the parties also recommend that a final approval hearing be scheduled for April 11, 2024.
The complete settlement order that would be published to the Court’s website is attached to the joint motion as “Exhibit A”.
The agreement gives users until August 9, 2024 to enroll in the settlement agreement, return their device, and be rewarded with a $100 device return award and an additional device payment award, without the need to submit a claim form. The settlement provides additional instructions for those who did not return, and do not still have, their affected devices.
Plaintiffs who wish to object to the settlement agreement have until February 7, 2024 to file their objections with the Court.
Individual Philips CPAP Personal Injury Lawsuits Remain Unresolved
While the parties appear on track to resolve the class action portion of the litigation, tens of thousands of individuals still have pending lawsuits indicating they suffered actual physical injuries due to their use of the recalled Philips CPAP devices.
Philips executives have already indicated publicly that they hope to reach a settlement agreement that resolves all cases. In April, Philips CEO Roy Jakobs announced that the company planned to settle the class action litigation this year, and hoped to resolve the individual injury claims sometime in 2024.
It is expected that the settlement to resolve the Philips CPAP personal injury lawsuits will far eclipse the economic loss settlement amount. However, if no agreement is reached to resolve a large majority of the individual claims, Judge Conti has also directed the parties to establish a Philips CPAP lawsuit bellwether process, where small groups of representative claims will be prepared for early trial dates if a global settlement is not reached.
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Freddie JackDecember 21, 2023 at 8:25 pm
I am pleased with my BIPAP machine. Got a new one last year and keep the old one as a backup. I will gladly testify to my satisfaction. I have no complaints with my machine. I am very pleased with it and I would not give the old one away for $100.00. This thing has improved my life and I am grateful to have it. Thanks a bunch.
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