Philips CPAP Machine Sued Over Cancer
Last year, Philips issued a massive recall related to their CPAP machines. Each machine is fitted with a noise-absorbing foam that makes it easier for folks to fall asleep. However, as this foam breaks down, it releases carcinogens that can cause throat cancer. This resulted in a massive recall that left millions of sleep apnea sufferers without a CPAP machine and others wondering if they were living on borrowed time.
Now, one California man who was a longtime user of Philips CPAP has developed throat cancer and has filed a lawsuit against the company claiming that his cancer is related to the carcinogenic breakdown of fibers in the noise-canceling foam. He accuses the company of negligently using a toxic foam and believes they either knew or should have known that the foam would eventually break down.
According to the lawsuit, the foam breaks down as the CPAP machine is used causing the user to inhale particles of potentially carcinogenic agents. Inhalation of these particles has been linked to lung damage, lung cancer, and respiratory problems.
The plaintiff had used Philips DreamStation for years prior to the 2021 announcement that the systems were being recalled. One month later, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. He has since undergone painful treatments, undergone voice changes, and incurred the extensive cost of cancer treatments which he alleges was the direct cause of the toxic foam. He further alleges that none of Philips’ customers were warned about the foam prior to use and thus, millions of people were exposed to danger.
With thousands of plaintiffs from all over the country, the case will be consolidated into one multidistrict litigation with plaintiffs eventually filing claims on a trust that has been set aside to compensate victims. With so many victims, the settlement could reach a billion dollars, especially considering that cancer diagnoses are emerging from the bad foam. However, the next two years will be spent on discovery before the parties agree to set aside some cases as bellwether trials. These cases will “test the waters” to see what juries think is fair compensation for individual plaintiffs. However, if the two sides cannot reach an agreement, then the lawsuits will be remanded back to the circuit courts to be tried individually.
The likely result of this lawsuit
The plaintiffs will be compensated, but the question is: How much will they receive? The answer could depend on what Philips knew about the foam and when they knew it. If Philips was knowingly placing carcinogenic products into the stream of commerce, then you can expect the company to be held liable for willful misconduct and hit with punitive damages. In that case, the award could surpass $1 billion.
Talk to a Florida Product Liability Attorney Today
Halpern, Santos & Pinkert represent the interests of injured plaintiffs in product liability claims against major companies. Call our Florida personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin discussing strategy immediately.