Philips CPAP Injury Attorneys Appointed To Leadership Positions in Federal MDL
The U.S. District Judge presiding over all Philips CPAP injury lawsuits has appointed a group of 33 attorneys to serve in various leadership positions in the MDL, anticipating a large and complicated litigation over recalled sleep apnea machines used by millions of Americans.
A massive Philips Respironics recall was issued last year, impacting an estimated 15 million DreamStation, CPAP, BiPAP and mechanical ventilators that contained a polyester-based (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam, which was intended to reduce sounds and vibrations during use. However, the manufacturer now acknowledges that the CPAP foam degrades over time, and releases toxic black particles or debris directly into the sleep apnea machine air pathways.
Hundreds of lawsuits have already been filed by individuals who allege they have been left with various side effects from the CPAP machine foam, including cancers, pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease (ILD) and other severe health complications that may have been avoided if a different foam material or internal design had been used. However, as personal injury attorneys continue to investigate and file additional claims in the coming months and years, it is widely expected that the litigation will include tens of thousands of lawsuits.
Given common questions of fact and law raised throughout the litigation, Philips CPAP injury claims brought throughout the federal court system have been centralized before Senior U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti in the Western District of Pennsylvania, as part of an MDL or multidistrict litigation, where the attorneys will engage in coordinated discovery into common issues that apply to all claims and prepare a series of “bellwether” claims for early trial dates, to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.
In a pretrial order (PDF) issued on February 15, Judge Conti appointed an especially large group of 33 Philips CPAP injury attorneys to various leadership roles, who will take certain actions during pretrial proceedings which will benefit all plaintiffs presenting claims, including arguing motions, taking deposition of common witnesses, reviewing discovery documents and other actions.
Judge Conti noted that the litigation was likely to involve complex issues and large numbers of claims, indicating that the court received at least 75 applications from Philips CPAP attorneys seeking leadership positions in the MDL.
The Court appointed four attorneys to serve together as co-lead counsel; 12 attorneys to serve on a Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee; two to serve as co-liaison counsel; three to serve as the chair and vice chairs of a settlement committee; 10 to serve on a Leadership Development Committee; and two attorneys to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Time and Expense subcommittee.
“(T)his court was informed by many of the applicants that this MDL is expected to be expansive and include complex and diverse issues of fact, science, and law because of the class action, medical monitoring and personal injury claims asserted by the plaintiffs in this case,” Judge Conti wrote.
Each plaintiff involved in the litigation will maintain their own CPAP machine personal injury lawyer to document their claim, establish that their problems were caused by the use of a recalled Philips machine and negotiate any settlement.
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. However, if Philips CPAP settlements or another resolution is not reached during the pretrial proceedings, each individual case may later be returned back to the U.S. District Court where it would have originated and set for future trial dates.
MollyMarch 11, 2022 at 11:36 am
I'm concerned about throat and palate problems. I've had a sore and raw throat with voice changes for many months, ever since I discovered my Dreamstation's filter compartment packed with dust, the dissolved sound abatement foam. A CT lung scan shows scaring and a new diagnosis of emphazyma and they recommend F/U CT scans every three months! But, the Pulmonologist didn't order any diagnostics[Show More]I'm concerned about throat and palate problems. I've had a sore and raw throat with voice changes for many months, ever since I discovered my Dreamstation's filter compartment packed with dust, the dissolved sound abatement foam. A CT lung scan shows scaring and a new diagnosis of emphazyma and they recommend F/U CT scans every three months! But, the Pulmonologist didn't order any diagnostics on my raw throat. I've been complaining since June 2021. Can you tell me what diagnostics I would have to rule out throat cancer? The doctor seems indifferent. I want this pain to stop, just hope it can be relieved with medication. Can you advise me please?
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