When you have a medical condition that severely affects your life and your health, you’re probably focused on what you can do to get better. Many people who suffer from sleep apnea used a device from Philips Respironics, and instead of it making them well, it likely made them worse and even caused cancer in many users. There’s nothing more frustrating than putting your trust in a medical device and a company that claims it can help you, only to be made worse by their treatment.
If you’ve experienced negative side effects as a result of the Phillips sleep apnea machine, we want to help you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact us today for a free case evaluation (see below).
The Problem With Phillips CPAP And Sleep Apnea Machines
Philips recalled millions of CPAP and other sleep apnea machines because many users were breathing toxic foam caused by a serious issue with their machines. Breathing in this toxic foam can cause cancer and other major health problems. The foam was going directly into the tube that users were using to breathe correctly while they slept. Aside from causing cancer, which is obviously severe and completely unacceptable, many users also reported headaches, upper airway irritations, coughing, chest pressure, sinus infections, asthma, damage to their liver and kidneys, nausea, vomiting, and increased breathing problems.
Class Action Lawsuit
In June 2021, a class action lawsuit was filed against Philips in Massachusetts. The lawsuit claims that Phillips knew about the toxic foam and the severe health issues it was causing people for years. There are claims that users had been complaining about the issues for many years, but Philips didn’t issue a public warning until April 2021. It was another two months, June 14th 2021, before Philips officially recalled the devices. Interestingly, Philips didn’t announce the recall of their machines until right around the time that they were coming out with a newer device. Many patients who desperately need these devices had no choice but to purchase the newer machine, meaning Philips continued to profit even after they made the recall of their current machine public.
Philips Lawsuits Are Based On 2 Violations
1. Design Defect
One of the reasons people were filing lawsuits against Philips is for the simple fact that the devices they sold to patients were defective and dangerous. The foam they used in the device is so dangerous that when it degrades it causes cancer. This alone might be enough of a problem for a lawsuit.
2. Failure To Warn
Not only did Philips use material in their medical devices that was incredibly dangerous, but they didn’t warn the public as soon as they became aware of the risks. There are allegations that users had been complaining of health issues as a result of the foam for years. At the very least, Philips became aware of the issue in April 2021, and didn’t issue a recall until the middle of June, 2021. This means that people continued to buy and use the machines for at least two months, despite the fact that Philips was well aware of the risks.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts throughout the time that they are sleeping. There are three main types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This is the most common form of sleep apnea and occurs when the throat muscles relax. When this happens, you can’t get enough air, which lowers the oxygen level in your blood.
- Central Sleep Apnea. This type of sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. You may wake up with shortness of breath or have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep.
- Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome. This is also referred to as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea. It occurs when you have both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
What Is A CPAP Machine?
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is the most commonly prescribed method for treating sleep apnea. This medical device sends a steady flow of oxygen into your mouth and nose while you sleep, which keeps your airways open and allows you to breathe more normally.
CPAP machines have motors that generate a constant stream of pressurized air which travels through an air filter and into a flexible tube. The tube delivers purified air into a mask that you seal around your nose or mouth while you sleep.
Which Machines Were Recalled
Philips ended up recalling millions of breathing machines because of the issue with the foam. In addition to recalling sleep apnea machines, other life-saving mechanical ventilators were recalled as well. The machines that were recalled include the following:
- DreamStation Machines.
- Continuous Positive Airway Presure (CPAP) Machines
- Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (Bi-Level PAP)
- Mechanical Ventilators
What Is The Toxic Foam?
The toxic foam that was causing people severe health issues is polyester-based polyurethane. While people were using the machine, the foam began to degrade into very small particles that the users were breathing in or ingesting. The foam also produced toxic gases, which caused cancer, lung irritation, and organ damage.
How Long Have The Machines Been On The Market? When
These damaging machines have been sold to patients since 2009, meaning some users have been exposed to the foam and gases for more than ten years.
Can I File A Lawsuit Against Phillips?
If you used any of Philips’ sleep apnea machines that they recently recalled, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. It’s important to keep track of when you used the machine and how long you used the device for. Also take note of which device you used. Additionally, have you been diagnosed with cancer or any other type of health condition that you and your doctor believe is related to the device? If yes, you may have a valid legal claim against Phillips. Your best bet is to contact us right away for a free consultation. We can help determine if you have a viable claim or not. We can also help you obtain your medical records and figure out what you should do next
Am I Entitled To Compensation?
It’s certainly a possibility. If we determine that you have a viable lawsuit, this means we believe you are entitled to compensation. If you file a lawsuit and we are successful in negotiating your case or we win at trial, you might be entitled to the following types of compensation:
- Medical Bills. If we win your case, you should be entitled to payment for past medical bills. Additionally, you’ll likely be able to collect monetary damages to help you pay for any future medical treatment or procedures you might need that are related to your use of a defective Philips sleep apnea machine.
- Lost Income. If you lost income as a result of being in the hospital because of a defective sleep apnea machine, you will be able to recover lost income. This includes income you might lose in the future if you’re no longer able to work.
- Pain and Suffering. When you use a medical device, you assume that it’s safe and that the manufacturers aren’t knowingly deceiving you about its safety. When you find out that you’ve been severely injured as a result of their negligence, it’s often emotionally painful and traumatizing. You might be entitled to monetary damages for this.
- Punitive Damages. Punitive damages are awarded as a way to punish companies and to deter them from engaging in this type of behavior in the future. Philips knew that their devices were defective, yet they continued to sell them anyway and didn’t warn the public. This is unconscionable. In an egregious case like this, it’s likely that a court would award punitive damages if you’re successful in your case.
Contact Us Now
If you’ve suffered any health consequences as a result of using these Phillips medical devices, you should contact us immediately. We can determine if you are eligible to file a lawsuit or not. It won’t cost you anything to speak with us. Additionally, you’ll never pay us anything until we successfully settle or win your case in court. Contact us right now and set up a free case evaluation so we can help you.