A Federal Judicial Panel Centralizes Philips CPAP Litigation

Federal Judicial Panel Centralizes Recalled CPAP Litigation

 In Blog, Dangerous Medical Devices, Product Liability

Federal Judicial Panel Centralizes Philips CPAP Recall Lawsuits

The U.S. JPML (Judicial Panel On Multidistrict Litigation) has decided to consolidate the multiple Philips CPAP lawsuits and BiPAP lawsuits that have been filed in federal courts across the nation.

After hearing oral arguments, the JPML has determined that the lawsuits will be centralized in one court – the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Pennsylvania under the watchful eye of U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

The purpose of centralization is to allow coordinated discovery and case management of the dozens of CPAP lawsuits already filed and the many more that are expected.

Philips Recall of CPAP and BiPAP Machines Results in Lawsuits

CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. BiPAP stands for bi-level positive airway pressure. BiPAP and CPAP machines are used by people with obstructive sleep apnea, which, if left untreated, can lead to serious health problems. A sleep apnea machine is a medical device or assistive breathing device used to keep your airways open while you are asleep.

Many lawsuits have been filed since Philips recalled millions of its CPAP and BiPap sleep apnea devices because of one of its parts: sound abatement foam (also called noise abatement foam).
Complaints allege that more than three million machines in the recall contained sound abatement foam called PE-PUR. PE-PUR foam is a polyester-based foam used to reduce the sound and vibrations of sleep apnea machines.

Philips CPAP litigation contains claims that the sound abatement foam was prone to degradation and the release of toxic particles, exposing users to the risk of cancer, breathing problems, damage to the lungs, and other injuries.

The Philips CPAP lawsuit claims allege that the foam can degrade over time because of a defective design in the devices, a claim that Philips has acknowledged being true. The foam can release tiny particles into the device itself when degradation occurs, particularly in the air tubes, which lead directly into the mouths and noses of users.

The result? People using recalled sleep apnea machines can spend hours and hours every night breathing in toxic dust, debris, and chemical particles.

The lawsuits that have been filed over the recalled Philips devices include both personal injury lawsuits and class action lawsuits.

JPML Centralizes CPAP Lawsuits for MDL Pretrial Proceedings

In July 2021, a group of plaintiffs suing Philips Respironics filed a motion with the JPML asking that all Philips CPAP lawsuits be centralized in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania or the Western. Why ask for centralization? Because lawsuits all contain similar facts, causes of action, and legal questions.

In large product liability litigation, which often occurs after a massive recall of a defective medical device, consolidation is common. When there are thousands of potential victims and plaintiffs with similar claims, it often makes sense to centralize the cases. Doing so can avoid duplicating efforts during discovery, inconveniencing witnesses, and clogging the courts.

Centralizing also avoids having dozens of Judges ruling (perhaps inconsistently) on similar claims and issues of law. The motion to consolidate the Philips CPAP machine lawsuits argued such.

Philips agreed to centralize the lawsuits but requested that they be heard in the District of Massachusetts.

The order transferring the lawsuits to the Western District of Pennsylvania states:

“The Western District of Pennsylvania is an appropriate transferee district for this litigation. The recalled products were primarily manufactured by Philips RS North America LLC (formerly Philips Respironics) in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. Thus, many of witnesses and much of the documentary evidence relevant to this litigation likely will be located within the Western District of Pennsylvania.”

There are allegedly more than 100 actions related to Philips sleep apnea machines, mechanical ventilator devices, and the potential health risks of sound abatement foam. They are pending in more than 30 districts across the country and will be affected by the JPML order. There are likely many more lawsuits to come related to the Philips recall and the affected devices.

Patients Who Used Philips CPAP Machines Face Health Risks

In June 2021, the Food and Drug Administration urged users of millions of Philips CPAP and BiPAP sleep apnea machines to stop using them immediately.

Philips recalled these devices and urged users to speak to their doctors about suitable and safer sleep apnea devices. Philips also established repair and replacement programs for those using the recalled CPAP devices.

Individuals who have been using recalled Philips CPAP machines might suffer these serious injuries:

  • Lung cancer
  • Other cancer
  • Respiratory infection and/or irritation
  • Side effects of untreated sleep apnea
  • Coughing
  • Asthma
  • Headache
  • Sinus infection
  • Organ damage
  • Inflammation

Manufacturers of CPAP Machines Must Warn Users of Risks

Manufacturers of medical devices and consumer products are obligated to inform users of their potential risks and dangers. Manufacturers are also required to ensure the items are reasonably safe for ordinary use.

The failure to do so might mean the manufacturer owes damages to victims who were injured by the devices.

In this instance, Philips may be liable to thousands of individuals who claim:

  • The recalled CPAP and BiPAP machines were defectively designed
  • That Philips failed to warn users of the risks and dangers of using the recalled devices

Damages in complex product liability litigation can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, or punitive damages.

Call Alonso Krangle, LLP, if You Were Injured by a Recalled Philips CPAP or BiPAP Device

Our lawyers are reviewing claims for individuals who used one of the CPAP or BiPAP sleep apnea devices that Philips recalled. Some of the devices include:

  • BiPAP V30
  • Non-life Supporting A-Series BiPAP A40
  • Non-life Supporting A-Series BiPAP A30
  • DreamStation ASV
  • DreamStation ST, AVAPS
  • DreamStation CPAP, Auto CPAP, BiPAP
  • DreamStation GO CPAP, APAP
  • REMStar SE Auto CPAP
  • Philips Respironics Ventilators

If you used a Philips sleep apnea machine that was part of the recall, call Alonso Krangle, LLP, to schedule a free case evaluation. Find out if you are entitled to seek damages and file a Philips CPAP machine lawsuit.

Call our Philips CPAP lawsuit attorneys today at 800-403-6191 and let us help you collect the maximum damages allowed by law.