Philips DreamStation Lawsuit Filed Over Oropharyngeal Cancer Caused By CPAP Machine

Lawsuit alleges Philips DreamStation CPAP machine carried no warnings of possible cancer risks from exposure to deteriorating sound abatement foam inside the device

According to allegations raised in a recently filed product liability lawsuit, the repeated use of a recalled Philips DreamStation CPAP machine caused orophyaryngeal cancer, after a California man repeatedly ingested toxic particles and debris as the sound abatement foam deteriorated.

The complaint (PDF) was filed late last month in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by Robert Setser and his wife, Bonnie, indicating that Koninklijke Philips and its North American subsidiaries knew or should have known that the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam inside his DreamStation machine was prone to deteriorate.

The case stems from a Philips CPAP recall issued in June 2021, which impacted millions of DreamStation and other similar sleep apnea machines, which contained a foam which was intended to reduce noise and vibrations while the device was used. However, it is now known that the CPAP foam breaks down as the machine is used, causing particles to be inhaled or digested by the user while sleeping.

Ingesting the foam particles has been linked to reports of cancers, lung damage and severe respiratory symptoms, according to allegations raised in hundreds of other similar Philips CPAP lawsuits already being pursued by former users.

“[Philips] knew or should have known of the defective nature of the recalled machines, including (among other things), that the PE-PUR foam used in the recalled machine’s component parts was prone to flaking, chemicalization, disintegration, that it could enter the user’s airways while they slept, and created an unreasonably high risk while in use, and would foreseeably result in injury or death to the public, purchasers and/or consumers,” according to the lawsuit.

The complaint indicates Setser regularly used a Philips Respironics DreamStation CPAP device for the treatment of sleep apnea before he learned about the recall in August 2021, discovering for the first time that the machine contained the dangerous PE-PUR foam. Just a month later, in September 2021, he was diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer, which is a form of head and neck cancer that attacks the throat.

As a result of the oropharyngeal cancer diagnosis, Setser indicates he has undergone surgery, painful cancer treatments, voice changes, tinnitus and extensive medical expenses, claiming the cancer was a direct result of the use of the Philips DreamStation CPAP.

Setser indicates the manufacturer should have warned consumers about the risks of the sound abatement foam, but failed to do so.

“The manuals accompanying Plaintiff Rober Setser’s device did not contain any language or warnings of health risks associated with use of the device, including irritation (skin, eye, and respiratory tract), inflammatory response, headache, asthma, adverse effects to other organs (e.g. kidneys and lover) and toxic carcinogenic effects,” the lawsuit states. “Had Defendants informed Plaintiff Robert Setser of these risks, he would not have purchased or used the Recalled Device.”

Setser presents claims of negligence, design defect, manufacturing defect, failure to warn, breach of warranty, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraud by omission, negligent misrepresentation and loss of consortium.

September 2022 Philips DreamStation Cancer Lawsuit Update

Setser’s complaint will be consolidated with other similar lawsuits over Philips CPAP machines filed throughout the federal court system, which are all centralized for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti in the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Given similar questions of fact and law raised in the complaints, Judge Conti is presiding over the exchange of common fact discovery in Philips CPAP/BiPAP lawsuits that apply to all claims, and is later expected to establish a “bellwether” program where a small group of representative cases will be prepared for early trial dates.

On September 14, 2022, Judge Conti announced a Philips CPAP lawsuit update, establishing a census program, where both filed and unfiled claim can be registered to toll the statute of limitations and provide the parties with certain information about the growing litigation.

Over the remainder of 2022 and 2023, the parties are expected to work on coordinated discovery and preparing a small group of bellwether cases for early trials/ However, if Philips CPAP settlements are not reached to resolve large numbers of claims following the coordinated pretrial proceedings, the lawsuit filed by the Setsers and each individual plaintiff may later be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for an individual trial date.

Contact A Lawyer

Latest Philips DreamStation Lawsuit Updates

Learn more about the latest status of the Philips CPAP cancer lawsuits and criteria for claims being investigated by lawyers

2022 PHILIPS DREAMSTATION LAWSUIT UPDATE

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