Fairness of Philips CPAP Recall Settlement Being Evaluated By MDL Judge

Objections to the Philips CPAP settlement agreement will be addressed at a status conference scheduled for April 25.

Following a fairness hearing held last week, the U.S. District Judge presiding over all Philips CPAP recall lawsuits indicates she will soon issue an opinion and order, determining whether to approve a class action settlement that resolves economic loss claims brought by owners of the recalled 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.

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 common questions of fact and law raised in the claims, all Philips CPAP recall lawsuits have been consolidated as part of a federal MDL, which is assigned to U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti in the Western District of Pennsylvania, for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.

Philips CPAP Recall Settlement Fairness Hearing

Judge Conti held a final fairness hearing on the Philips CPAP recall settlement on April 11, to determine whether the agreement was fair to all parties.

Claimants who are eligible for the class action settlement 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.

According to minutes released by the Court, Philips has agreed to consider plaintiffs who miss the deadline to opt out by one day to be timely. No objectors to the settlement agreement appeared at the hearing.

Judge Conti indicates there are 78 objections on record, and the court will later issue an opinion and order on whether to approve the settlement. Objections are due by April 18, and Philips may respond to those objections by April 23.

A status conference on the issue will be held on April 25.

April 2024 Philips CPAP Lawsuit Settlement Update

If the Philips CPAP class action lawsuit settlement is approved, it will still leave numerous individual lawsuits over injuries allegedly sustained due to the toxic sound abatement foam.

Earlier this month, the company agreed to a consent decree which prohibits the sale of Philips CPAP devices in the U.S. until it can prove the products meet FDA safety standards.

Philips has already indicated that it hopes to reach a global settlement for CPAP injury lawsuits some time this year. However, negotiations to settle 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

Following pretrial motions, Judge Conti has already established a series of deadlines in Philips CPAP injury lawsuits designed to prepare cases for potential early trial dates. In addition, a court-appointed mediator is currently working with the parties to negotiate CPAP recall settlements.

However, unless Philips is able to successfully convince the court to dismiss the litigation or negotiate a resolution for the claims following mediation efforts and any early bellwether trials, Judge Conti may begin remanding hundreds of individual claims back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trial dates in the future.

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