How to File a Lawsuit for a CPAP Machine

You may have become aware of some shocking information concerning well-known CPAP device manufacturers and the hidden dangers of using their machines. Recently, Philips recalled millions of units of its CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator machines. 

When you’re put in harm’s way because of a defective device, it’s hard to know what path forward to take to get compensation. But learning how to file a lawsuit for CPAP machine injuries puts some of the power back in your hands. People have endured cancer, lung problems, and other serious injuries after being exposed to potential carcinogens and toxic chemicals. The manufacturers of these harmful devices should be held accountable.

What is a CPAP lawsuit?

For people that suffer from sleep apnea, a CPAP machine is supposed to provide relief by decreasing daytime sleepiness and reducing the risk of heart failure. However, in specific instances, when materials used to build a CPAP device aren’t adequately tested and researched, it can end up causing more harm than good. 

If you’ve been the victim of a scenario like this, we are here to help you. Morgan & Morgan attorneys are located throughout the US and understand that every case is extremely important to our client and their family. We believe the same and demonstrate that with our compassionate approach to every personal injury claim. 

Right now, there is an active class action lawsuit against Philips, which claims the manufacturer was aware of the health concerns their users were experiencing.

What are the details of the Philips class action lawsuit?

In June of 2021, Philips recalled their CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator devices because of potential health risks that may result from degraded polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam. This foam was used to muffle the sounds made by the devices. The PE-PUR has the potential to degrade into particles that can then enter the machine’s air pathway and be absorbed through ingestion or inhalation. Furthermore, the foam may off-gas certain chemicals. 

The lawsuit alleges that Philips had been made aware of user concerns for some time and even knew the possible dangers introduced by the foam’s degradation for years. Yet, the company didn’t issue a public warning until April 2021. The company then waited for another couple of months before issuing a recall of the defective devices. 

The timing of the official recall is further distressing because it coincided with the release of a newer generation of devices. Many people who desperately depend on their CPAP were left with little choice but to upgrade to the latest device as the recall left millions of users in the lurch, and alternatives were hard to come by because of shortages. 

Even more disturbing is the fact that patients on some insurance and medicare aren’t eligible for new CPAP devices unless they are five years old or older. Patients that can’t afford to wait years for Philips to replace their recalled devices or can’t wait five years for insurance to pay are left with a terrible choice. Either keep using a device that may make them seriously sick or deal with the equally scary aspect of going without treatment for their sleep apnea.

How serious is the CPAP recall?

The CPAP recall is very serious. The FDA has classified the Philips CPAP recall as a Class I recall, meaning the PE-PUR issues can cause severe injury that can be life-threatening or cause permanent impairment. 

The risks for PE-PUR particle exposure include toxic or carcinogenic effects to organs like the liver and kidneys, inflammatory responses, headache, asthma, and irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract.

The risks for chemical exposure in the air pathway include headache, hypersensitivity, dizziness, irritation to the eyes, nose, skin, and respiratory tract. Other risks are toxic and carcinogenic effects, plus nausea and vomiting. As of yet, there have been no reported deaths linked to exposure.

Who can file a CPAP lawsuit?

Anyone who has used a recalled CPAP machine and experienced the Philips CPAP side effects or anyone who feels their loved one’s death is linked to its usage could be eligible to file a lawsuit. Speak to one of our attorneys about how to file a lawsuit for a CPAP machine for more details. We can do a free case evaluation to see if you qualify.

An important thing to note, though, is the statute of limitations to file a claim. Although it’s still very early in the process, a statute of limitations is typically addressed in this type of lawsuit. A statute of limitation is a deadline to file a claim, so it’s essential to speak with us sooner rather than later about your concerns.

Because millions of Philips CPAP device users have been impacted by the recall, it is expected that many lawsuits will arise from the defect. When learning how to file a lawsuit for a CPAP machine, an important thing to keep in mind is identifying a causal link between your injury and the CPAP device.

Since the Philips recall is still relatively new, so is the science that can link the use of their faulty devices and certain cancers. Currently, many types of cancers are being reviewed by medical professionals. Learning of the recall and then quickly finding out you have a certain type of cancer does not necessarily mean there is a causal link. It may be that time is a factor, meaning people that have used their recalled device for many years probably have a more significant chance of developing or having developed injuries. However, they may not know their injuries could be related to the use of their CPAP.

What kind of compensation can I expect for a CPAP machine lawsuit?

No trial dates have been set for the Philips debacle. However, speculative guesses on settlements could range between $100,000 to $500,000. Where class actions are concerned, the courts often use bellwether cases to set a precedent on future cases that can be brought before the court. 

In any successful personal injury case, the following types of compensation are typical. However, every case is unique.

Medical bills: If we are successful with your case, you should be compensated for any medical bills you incurred as a result of your injuries. If it is likely you will require further or ongoing treatment due to your injury, future medical bills can be figured into your compensation.

Lost income: If you were unable to work due to your injuries, you should be compensated for your lost wages. Furthermore, suppose your injuries are such that your future income has become jeopardized. In that case, you should be able to recover the loss of your livelihood.

Pain and suffering: When we use medical devices that are suggested by our doctor, we expect it to provide relief from our ailments, not make things worse. When manufacturers deliberately deceive users on the safety of their devices, and the user finds that they’ve been made ill or now have life-threatening injuries, that is a traumatic experience. Victims of this kind of unethical treatment may be eligible to receive compensation for the pain and suffering they’ve endured as a result of these kinds of lies.

Punitive damages: Punitive damages are awarded in the most egregious types of cases. It’s a way for juries to punish wrongdoers, and it serves as a warning to others that may cause harm to society as a whole. Suppose it can be proven that a CPAP manufacturer deliberately hid the fact their device was dangerous. In that case, punitive damages can massively eclipse any compensation for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. A perfect example of this is in lawsuits against the big tobacco companies where juries awarded billions in punitive damages. 

When to contact a CPAP lawyer

If you’ve used a recalled CPAP device for at least a year and have developed injuries you believe are related, it’s time to contact a CPAP lawyer. The single most important quality to look for in a CPAP lawyer is experience dealing with these types of personal injury cases, including class actions. 

At Morgan & Morgan, personal injury law is the bedrock of our law firm. And if there is one thing we’ve learned from over 30 years in the business, it is that not all law firms are created equal. Hiring the wrong lawyer increases your chances of coming away empty-handed, even when all the cards are in your favor. Less experienced, timid lawyers may shy away from the courtroom and instead convince their clients that settling is the best way to end their dispute. Even if they know they could do better for their clients if they fought for them in the courtroom. It’s just easier to settle. 

That being said, sometimes, a settlement truly is your best course of action. Particularly if you have medical bills piling up or you have developed a life-threatening injury and may not last to see a courtroom verdict. When things are that dire, sometimes help now is better than waiting years for a trial verdict.

Our lawyers take all of these factors into the equation when offering legal counsel to our clients. Additionally, our lawyers speak from decades of experience in personal injury law. We’ve recovered billions for our clients, and that doesn’t just happen by chance. With us, you also have access to almost unlimited resources to help support your case. When it comes to product defects, it can take an in-depth investigation to assign liability. Because of this, we have medical professionals, expert witnesses, professional investigators, and extensive legal staff to build the best possible case for you. When you’re ready to file a lawsuit for a CPAP machine, get in touch with Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-risk case evaluation.