CPAP Lawsuit Facts
Philips Respironics
Cancer, toxic effects, respiratory issues
Number of Cases
792 pending cases in multidistrict litigation
Top Settlement
$479 million

Latest Philips CPAP Lawsuit Updates

Latest Updates: Philips Respironics reached a $1.1 billion settlement over CPAP lawsuits on April 29, 2024. Of that, $1.075 billion would go toward personal injury claims that its devices caused serious complications or death. Another $25 million would pay for medical monitoring of people who used the machines and may develop complications later on.

A federal court must still approve the settlement.

As of June 2024, there are 792 pending cases in multidistrict litigation over injury claims related to recalled Philips CPAP machines.

If the settlement is not approved, bellwether trials in the Philips CPAP multidistrict litigation could occur in 2025 for lawsuits that claim the devices led people to develop cancer and other health problems. Senior U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti will preside over all federal CPAP lawsuits against Philips.

In early September 2023, Philips offered $479 million to settle CPAP class-action lawsuits that claimed damages resulting from recalled machines. This settlement does not impact the federal MDL.

Timeline of CPAP Lawsuits

  • April 2024:
    Philips filed a financial report providing the first details of a $1.1 billion settlement to quell a rising number of CPAP lawsuits.
  • March 2024:
    Lawyers met with Judge Conti to discuss the status of the MDL. The next step will be to select upcoming bellwether test trials which could start in 2025.
  • February 2024:
    An in-person status conference previously set for Feb. 22, 2024, was rescheduled to Feb. 29.
  • January 2024:
    Philips Respironics announces it will stop selling CPAP devices in the U.S. due to safety concerns after reaching a consent decree with federal authorities.
  • December 2023:
    Bellwether trials in MDL 3014 were expected to begin in 2025. Philips filed objections to the recommendations of the special master in the MDL.
  • November 2023:
    Bellwether trials in MDL 3014 were expected to begin as early as 2024.
  • October 2023:
    As of Oct. 19, 2023, 729 lawsuits were pending in the Philips CPAP recall MDL, and a total of 784 cases were filed.
  • September 2023:
    On Sept. 8, 2023, Philips agreed to pay at least $479 million to settle a CPAP class-action lawsuit claiming financial damages from the CPAP recall.
  • May 2023:
    Judge Joy Flowers Conti extended the deadline for plaintiffs to file remand motions to August 2023 (extended from April 2023). Defendants had to file responses by October 2023 (extended from June 2023).
  • April 2023:
    Judge Conti rescheduled an in-person status conference to May 25, 2023.
  • February 2023:
    The FDA updated its medical device reports database with multiple new injury reports linked to recalled Philips CPAP devices. Additionally, 62 more cases were added to the MDL.
  • January 2023:
    Plaintiffs set a planned schedule to start bellwether trials sometime in 2024. Defendants submitted a plan where trials wouldn’t begin until 2025, potentially 2026.
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Philips set aside an additional $630 million to resolve CPAP lawsuit claims in response to the recent growth in federal CPAP lawsuits against the company. Philips also recorded financial losses earlier in 2023, partly because of continuing issues with the company’s breathing devices.

CPAP Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

In March 2023, Philips CEO Roy Jakobs said the company hoped to reach a settlement related to economic damages. As of June 2024, there are no court-approved offers to settle individual cancer injuries in the federal MDL. However, in September 2023, Philips did agree to settle a CPAP class-action lawsuit seeking economic damages.

Lawyers estimate that potential CPAP lawsuit settlement amounts for cancer injuries may be between $100,000 and $500,000. Depending on the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries, the amount could vary in individual cases.

Philips announced a tentative agreement with the FDA in January 2024. The roughly $400 million settlement included a promise for Philips to stop selling CPAP machines in the U.S. for the time being.

“The final cost of the settlement may vary based on, among other things, how many patients participate in the settlement and what the Court awards for the professional fees relating to the resolutions.”

Jury verdicts for lawsuits that go to trial tend to be higher than settlement amounts, but not all cases go to trial. Trials can last years, and there is no guarantee of a jury verdict. Depending on your circumstances, opting for a settlement may be a better choice. Make sure you discuss all your options with your CPAP lawsuit lawyer.

Why Are People Filing Philips CPAP Lawsuits?

People are filing Philips CPAP lawsuits because the polyester-based polyurethane — PE-PUR — sound abatement foam in recalled Philips CPAP, BiPAP and ventilator devices may degrade. Lawsuits claim that degraded Philips’ CPAP foam can cause cancer and organ damage.

Lawsuits also claim Philips failed to warn the public of health risks despite receiving injury reports. Injuries include headaches, airway irritation, chest pressure, cough and sinus infection.

According to a safety communication last updated in June 2023, the FDA had received over 105,000 medical device reports, including 385 deaths linked to degraded PE-PUR foam. The reports, received between April 2021 and March 31, 2023, include cancer, pneumonia, dizziness, asthma, headache, infection, cough, difficulty breathing and chest pain.

Philips attributed some foam degradation to the use of CPAP cleaning machines using ozone. Manufacturer SoClean Inc. sued Philips and filed an amended complaint referencing the FDA’s report in December 2021. The complaint claims Philips knew the foam could cause “serious risk of harm” for years, but instead of warning the public, it focused blame on SoClean.

Lawsuit Documents Show Philips Knew About CPAP Risks

In June 2022, unsealed court documents revealed that Philips knew about problems with its foam for at least three years before the recall. Philips claimed off-gassing chemicals from its PE-PUR foam wouldn’t cause health problems unless exposed to ozone cleaners, which made the foam 14 times more likely to degrade.

“The FDA’s investigation further reveals the company’s own internal testing showed the degradation products of PE-PUR foam are toxic and potentially carcinogenic. The company chose to keep using the PE-PUR foam anyway and did not alert the public to the risk of harm,” attorney Brendan McDonough told Drugwatch.

Brendan McDonough, Weitz & Luxenberg attorney
“The FDA’s investigation further reveals the company’s own internal testing showed the degradation products of PE-PUR foam are toxic and potentially carcinogenic. The company chose to keep using the PE-PUR foam anyway and did not alert the public to the risk of harm.”
Brendan McDonough Attorney with Weitz & Luxenberg

In 2023, the FDA issued another recall — a Class I Recall — for reprogrammed replacement devices from the initial recalls because of safety issues with the settings. The FDA also released a statement in April 2023 addressing the number of replacement Philips CPAP devices from the most recent replacement recall.

The Agency stated that the number of replacement devices sent to customers was far below the almost 2.5 million Philips had claimed.

Do I Qualify To File a CPAP Lawsuit?

Anyone under 80 years of age who used a recalled Philips Bi-PAP, CPAP or ventilator and suffered dangerous or serious Philips CPAP side effects may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Injuries in potential lawsuits include many types of cancer, respiratory problems and organ damage related to using a recalled Philips CPAP device.

Injuries Named in Lawsuits:
  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  • Blood cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Chemical poisoning
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney cancer, damage or disease
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer, damage or disease
  • Lung cancer, damage or disease
  • Lymphatic cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Nasal cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Papillary carcinoma
  • Pleural effusion
  • Prostate cancer
  • Reactive airway disease
  • Rectal cancer
  • Respiratory failure
  • Severe ear, nose or throat inflammation
  • Stomach cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Thyroid cancer

Philips’ lab tests showed degraded foam from devices included in the Philips CPAP recall might release toxic chemicals. These include toluene diamine, toluene diisocyanate, diethylene glycol and dimethyl diazine.

If you aren’t sure if you qualify for a Philips CPAP lawsuit, a CPAP lawyer can help you determine your eligibility. Make sure you speak to an attorney right away.

Why File a CPAP Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one were injured permanently because of a Philips BiPAP, CPAP or ventilator, compensation from a lawsuit could help pay for past and future medical bills. Lawsuits in the MDL seek to hold Philips accountable and compensate for pain and suffering as well.

A handful of class-action lawsuits have also been filed that demand the company reimburse plaintiffs for the cost of replacing their CPAP devices.

What is the process of filing a CPAP lawsuit? - Featuring Ellen Relkin, partner at Weitz & Luxenberg
Ellen Relkin, partner at Weitz & Luxenberg | 3:43 What is the process of filing a CPAP lawsuit?
Did you develop cancer, respiratory issues or other serious health problems after using a Philips CPAP machine?
Replay Video
Ellen Relkin, partner at Weitz & Luxenberg, discusses the steps to file a CPAP lawsuit.

According to Philips, the health risks associated with the foam in recalled CPAP machines could result in a broad range of potential patient impacts, from short-lived injuries, symptoms and complications to possible serious injuries, which could be “life-threatening or cause permanent impairment.”

Lawyers taking Philips CPAP lawsuit claims can evaluate your claim free of charge to see if you qualify. Time to file is limited, so talking to a lawyer as soon as possible can help ensure you’ll be able to seek compensation.

Choosing a CPAP Lawsuit Lawyer

The most important quality to consider when choosing a CPAP lawsuit lawyer is experience. Choose a lawyer with extensive experience in personal injury and product liability lawsuits.

Questions to ask a CPAP lawsuit lawyer include:
  • How familiar are you with medical device cases such as CPAP lawsuits?
  • How many years have you been a practicing product liability attorney?
  • What is your medical device settlement track record, including CPAP machine cases?
  • How much trial experience do you have?
  • What can I expect as your client?

An experienced CPAP lawsuit lawyer will walk you through the process of filing a CPAP case. Your lawyer will explain the litigation process, from filing your complaint in court to negotiating your settlement or fighting for you in court.

Questions CPAP Lawyers May Ask You

When you contact a lawyer about your potential Philips CPAP injury case, they may ask you questions about your experience with your CPAP machine.

McDonough told Drugwatch, “Individuals interested in a potential lawsuit against Philips should be prepared to discuss their health history and experience with the device or devices.”

“There are a number of factors that go into the evaluation of a potential claim,” McDonough added. “As much information should be provided as possible at the outset to allow their attorney to best assist and advise them on the appropriate course of action.”

“They should also expect that, if their claim is accepted for investigation, it could potentially take years to resolve,” he explained. “Philips has signaled they intend to defend these claims vigorously.”

CPAP Questions To Prepare For

Which Philips sleep apnea machine did you use?
Make sure you know the brand and model of your machine. If you aren’t sure if your device is a recalled Philips CPAP, BiPAP or ventilator, the attorney can help you figure it out.
Did you keep your recalled CPAP machine?
It’s important to keep your recalled Philips machine for evidence in a potential case. Your lawyer can help you keep the machine if your supplier is asking you to return it.
What serious injuries are you experiencing from your CPAP device?
Tell the lawyer about any serious Philips CPAP side effects your doctor diagnosed you with, especially serious breathing problems, organ damage or cancer. Have your medical records handy to answer questions.
What symptoms did you experience from your recalled CPAP device?
Your lawyer will want to know if you experience any symptoms related to inhaling particles of toxic gas from sound abatement foam. Symptoms may include breathing problems, headaches, dizziness or other medical problems.
Why are you interested in filing a CPAP lawsuit?
Tell your lawyer what types of damages you want to be compensated for and why you want to file a lawsuit. Your reasons may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and holding Philips accountable for manufacturing a defective machine.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.