Tolling Agreement For Philips CPAP/BiPAP Lawsuits Now Available To Extend Statute of Limitations
As individuals nationwide continue to evaluate whether to file a Philips CPAP/BiPAP lawsuit over injuries that may have resulted from the use of a recalled sleep apnea machine, a tolling agreement has been reached with the manufacturer and plaintiffs lawyers, which will allow potential claimants to register and extend statute of limitations deadlines.
Millions of Philips DreamStation CPAP and BiPAP machines were recalled in June 2021, due to problems with a polyester-based (PE-PUR) sound abatement that may breakdown and degrade, releasing black particles or debris directly into the sleep apnea machine’s air pathways, exposing users to a number of toxic chemicals and gases.
Exposure to the Philips CPAP/BiPAP machines has been linked to reports of cancer, lung damage and other respiratory problems, leading to a growing number of lawsuits being filed against the manufacturers.
As the first year anniversary of the recall approaches, with different state statute of limitations, prescription periods and statute of repose periods providing deadlines for certain potential claimants, the parties reached a private tolling agreement that can be utilized by an plaintiff or plaintiff’s counsel while individuals decide whether to pursue a lawsuit for personal injuries, wrongful death or economic damages.
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Given common questions of fact and law raised claims filed so far throughout the federal court system, the Philips CPAP/BiPAP litigation has 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).
In a joint motion (PDF) filed on February 4 by representatives of both plaintiffs and defendants, the parties announced they have reached a private Tolling Agreement, which is entirely voluntary.
Judge Conti issued a pretrial order (PDF) on Tuesday, directing that a copy of the Tolling Agreement be made available for download from the Philips CPAP/BiPAP MDL website. However, the Court has taken no position regarding the terms of the private agreement.
To register on the tolling agreement, potential claimants must provide Philips with the name and serial number of the recalled device, unless they no longer own it. The plaintiffs are then prevented from initiating or continuing any other lawsuit or arbitration against Philips while part of the tolling agreement, unless thirty days written notice is provided or the tolling agreement is terminated.
As part of the coordinated pretrial proceedings before Judge Conti, it is expected that the Court will establish a bellwether program where case-specific discovery will be conducted on a group of representative claims, which may then be eligible for early trial dates to help the parties gauge how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that may be repeated throughout the litigation. However, if Philips CPAP settlements or another resolution is not reached during the pretrial proceedings, each individual case may later be filed and set for future trial dates.
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