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Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation Forms New CPAP MDL


One of the most recent mass torts to hit the courts and consolidate into multidistrict litigation (MDL) concerns the recall of multiple Philips CPAP, BIPAP, and ventilator machines that pose a risk to the health of millions of patients worldwide.

The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation recently entered a transfer order, assigning the Philips recall litigation to be housed in the Western District of Pennsylvania before Judge Joy Flowers Conti. More than 100 lawsuits that had been filed nationwide are now in front of Judge Conti, with many more lawsuits expected to come soon.

The Philips CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator lawsuits follow a stunning recall of up to 4 million machines worldwide, affecting patients who suffer from serious and potentially life-threatening conditions requiring the use of Philips’ products.

Recent discoveries suggest that the very medical devices that are intended to help patients may be causing more harm. The information below provides an overview of why so many Philips CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator machines have been recalled, and the types of injuries that may result from the use of these machines.

Patients who are concerned about whether the machines they use are subject to recall should speak with their healthcare providers. As far as potential legal claims, an experienced defective medical device and mass tort lawyer is in the best position to determine whether an injured victim has a viable claim against the Philips defendants.

Why Were Millions of Philips CPAP, BiPAP, and Ventilator Machines Recalled?

This past summer, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a safety communication stating that certain Philips Respironics, Ventilators, BiPAP, and CPAP machines have been recalled because of significant health risks to patients.

The FDA safety communication states that the “polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam,” which is intended to reduce vibrations and sounds in recalled products, “may break down and potentially enter the device’s air pathway.” If black debris from the foam or other chemicals is released into the device’s air pathway, patients may inhale or swallow them.

Swallowing or inhalation of black debris and/or other chemicals released from the PE-PUR sound abatement foam may cause patients to suffer serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. Some injuries may result in permanent impairment, and immediate medical intervention may be necessary to prevent permanent damage.

Additionally, according to the FDA safety communication, the devices may release carcinogenic chemicals into the air pathway that can be inhaled by patients. 

Exposure to the PE-PUR debris and chemicals may cause injuries, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Respiratory tract irritation
  • Toxic and carcinogenic effects to organs (kidneys, liver, etc.)
  • Acute onset asthma 
  • Headaches
  • Inflammatory response
  • Eye irritation

Given the broad spectrum of injuries and the large patient group affected by the recalled CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator machines, the MDL will likely grow quickly as injured plaintiffs begin to file their cases directly with the MDL court in the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Large litigations can be lengthy but having an MDL court handle procedural matters can help to move things along more efficiently than they otherwise would without a centralization. An experienced mass tort lawyer can answer questions potential clients may have about MDLs and the possible trajectory of the Philips CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator litigation.

Contact a Mass Tort Lawyer at Searcy Denney Today for a Free Case Evaluation

If you or a loved one has used or is currently using one of the recalled Philips CPAP, BiPAP, or ventilator products, you may have a potential legal claim if you have suffered injuries. At Searcy Denney, each mass tort lawyer at our firm routinely handles large complex litigations involving defective and dangerous medical devices.

To find out whether you may be entitled to compensation, contact Searcy Denney today by calling (800) 780-8607 or by completing a free case evaluation form on our website.

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