More than 100 lawsuits have been registered against Royal Philips NV in Pennsylvania court over the recall of its more than 3 million CPAP devices which were used to treat sleep apnea and linked to causing cancer.
U.S. District Judge Joy Conti is overlooking the claims related to CPAP-breathing machines in Pittsburgh. All the claims allege that the company's product poses a cancer risk to the users.
In June, Philips announced a recall of the CPAP machines sighting that the polyester-based foam used inside the devices to cut noise can break down and be ingested by users. Researchers have even claimed that the material used in the products might lead to some types of cancers and other illnesses.
Philips’ ventilator products are used to treat sleep apnea which is a sleep disorder that causes breathing problems, fatigue and long-term health issues. It is designed to improve sleep patterns and is sold under the brand name DreamStation.
One of the plaintiff's attorneys said that the company might soon face claims from thousands of consumers over the CPAP machines. Another plaintiff's attorney urged the court to form an MDL to centralize all the CPAP lawsuits, whereas one of the attorneys suggested sending the lawsuits to the Pittsburgh court as most of the witnesses and users would be located around the city.
Earlier, a request to consolidate Philips CPAP machines lawsuits has been raised in the federal court post the FDA's issue to recall the devices considering the growing number of claims.
The lawsuits allege the devices were dangerous and contained defective PE-PUR foam, which resulted in health hazards to the users. It is also observed that the foam degrades over time, resulting in the release of black particles or toxic chemicals directly into the air pathway.
Eventually, Philips recalled around 3.5 million CPAP, BiPAP and ventilator breathing machines from the U.S. market and urged the users to prohibit the use of the devices. The toxic particles released by the foam in the devices are linked to causing severe respiratory problems and other health complications, including cancer.
The first plaintiff who filed the lawsuit against the device maker has requested the federal court to consolidate the similar lawsuits and claims in an MDL for a common outcome and fair hearing.
Another plaintiff who filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia on July 2 alleged that he experienced disrupted respiratory system, cellular damage, and DNA damage, and got diagnosed with lung cancer in June 2021 due to the daily use of the device.
Currently, there are at least ten different lawsuits filed across five different U.S. District Courts nationwide. The experts state that the number of Philips CPAP Machine lawsuits is expected to grow in the coming weeks and months as millions of users have been affected.