A Pennsylvania court’s order outlining Philips’ responsibility to preserve evidence is preventing repairs and returns of devices to customers, the company says. The Philips continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy machine for sleep apnea and other related sleep apnea devices have been linked to cancer diagnoses in users due to insulating foam potentially degrading and being ingested or chemical emissions in new machines being inhaled. 

Plaintiff’s attorneys responded by saying that they are opposed to the company having the ability to dispose of components they are supposed to be repairing and replacing, citing that these components are “tangible things” that could be evidence in the multidistrict litigation. 

Philips filed an emergency request asking the court to modify the pretrial order, saying that under US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules, the company must replace the foam in the machines and was failing to do that because of this pretrial order. 

335,000 devices have been returned to Philips due to the recall. Around 115,000 devices have been repaired and sent back to customers. The court order halted repairs in progress, setting the company behind over 55,000 devices by the time the court meets next in December. 

More than half of the plaintiff’s attorneys objected to the emergency request, and now the company has until Wednesday November 17th to articulate how the pretrial order would affect their ability to fix and replace the machines. Plaintiff’s attorneys also filed a brief arguing that Philips should preserve the defective foam it was removing from the recalled machines and should make copies of the devices memory cards to serve as evidence of the users’ exposure to the foam, forming an accurate reserve of evidence for the lawsuits. 

The FDA recalled 20 different models of Philips Respironics Ventilators, BiPAP, and CPAP Machines in June 2021. The injuries resulting from the defective products include but are not limited to lung cancer, asthma, headache, nausea/vomiting, and hypersensitivity. 

As devices have been recalled, former users have sometimes been left with no solutions to their sleep issues as they’ve relied on the machine for quite some time. 

You may qualify for a lawsuit if your device was recalled and a lung cancer diagnosis can be linked to use of a Philips device. If you qualify for the Philips lung cancer case above and are seeking this kind of help, reach out to our team at TorHoerman Law to find someone right for you.

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