Sleep apnea is a serious sleep and breathing disorder that can have catastrophic health consequences. Countless individuals with the condition have turned to CPAP and BiPAP devices manufactured by Philips and others to help protect them while sleeping, facilitating steady, clear breathing and a good night’s rest.
Unfortunately, those same CPAP and BiPAP devices that were designed to protect people are causing illness and injury, so much so that Philips recalled three to four million of their devices in June 2021 because they contained materials that could cause “serious injury which can be life-threatening or cause permanent impairment.”
At Berman & Simmons, our New England defective medical device attorneys work with individuals and families who have suffered harm caused by Philips CPAP and BiPAP devices. Our lawyers are widely acknowledged as the best personal injury lawyers in Maine. With our unmatched resources and exceptional legal talent, we have obtained several of the largest jury verdicts and settlements in Maine, recovering over $1.25 billion in damages for our personal injury clients, including clients who suffered health problems from defective and dangerous medical devices.
What Are Philips CPAP and BiPAP Devices?
The most common device prescribed to treat sleep apnea, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, sends a steady, constant flow of oxygen into the patient’s mouth and nose while they sleep, keeping the airway open and helping them breathe through the night.
A CPAP machine uses a motor or compressor to generate a steady stream of pressurized air that moves through an air filter into a flexible tube. This tube then sends the air into a mask sealed around the nose and mouth, keeping oxygen flowing into the lungs.
In addition to CPAP devices, two other types of machines – BiPAP and APAP devices – are used by sleep apnea patients to help them breathe normally while sleeping. A BiPAP (bi-level positive airflow pressure) device uses two separate pressure settings for inhalation and exhalation. BiPAP devices may come with a backup respiratory rate to help patients with central sleep apnea.
An APAP (automatic positive airflow pressure) device monitors breathing throughout the night, automatically adjusting air pressure as needed in response to a change of sleeping position or compensating for medication effects that may impact breathing
The Problem With Philips CPAP and BiPAP Devices
The problem with recalled Philips CPAP and BiPAP devices relates primarily to the foam they contain to reduce noise. This polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) can break down and disintegrate and then be inhaled or ingested while “outgassing” volatile carcinogenic compounds that can adversely affect vital organs and cause a wide range of other health problems, including cancer.
Philips recalled the devices in June 2021 after receiving several complaints about the presence of black debris and particles within the device’s air pathway, as well as reports of headache, upper airway irritation, cough, chest pressure, and sinus infection. All of these relate to the breakdown of PE-PUR foam and the inhalation and release of particles and chemicals into the devices’ air pathways that the user then ingests.
In an alert issued shortly after the Philips recall, the U.S Food Administration (FDA) warned that the foregoing issues “can result in serious injury, which can be life-threatening, cause permanent impairment, and require medical intervention to prevent permanent damage.”
Health Risks and Injuries Associated With Philips CPAP and BiPAP Devices
Philips reports the following potential health risks caused by PE-PUR foam degradation in its recalled CPAP and Bi-PAP devices:
Particulate Exposure Health Risks
- Possible carcinogenic effects (cancer).
- Possible toxic effects.
- Respiratory issues.
- Adverse effects to liver, kidneys, and other organs.
- Irritation of eye, skin, and respiratory tract.
Off-Gassing Health Risks
Potential health risks linked to off-gassing, or the release of volatile organic compounds and other harmful chemicals in vapor form, include:
- Possible carcinogenic effects (cancer).
- Possible toxic effects.
- Irritation of eye, nose, skin, and respiratory tract.
How Berman and Simmons Can Help You
Since the recall of Philips CPAP and BiPAP devices, evidence has emerged, and lawsuits have been filed alleging that Philips knew the risks posed by PE-PUR foam degradation, concealed that information from the public, and failed to act expeditiously to get these dangerous devices off the market.
Berman and Simmons is currently investigating and pursuing claims on behalf of individuals who have suffered adverse health consequences from using Philips CPAP and BiPAP devices. If you have been injured, including receiving a diagnosis of lung damage or cancer, we will use all our experience, dedication, and resources to obtain the compensation you need and deserve, including damages for past and future medical expenses, lost wages and loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Know Your Rights.
Contact Berman & Simmons Today for Your Free Consultation
For over 100 years, countless personal injury victims in Maine and throughout New England have placed their trust in the lawyers of Berman & Simmons to help them through the challenges that follow a serious injury. With compassion, commitment, and legal excellence, we get our clients the maximum amount of compensation available for their injuries and damages. We welcome the opportunity to do the same for you and your family.
Maine has strict statutes of limitations for filing medical device lawsuits, so it is critically important that you reach out to us as soon as possible if you suspect that any complications or health problems you have experienced may be related to your use of a Philips CPAP or BiPAP machine.
Please contact the Maine defective medical device lawyers at Berman & Simmons today at 866-664-2403 to arrange your free consultation. You pay nothing unless we obtain compensation for you by settlement or jury verdict. We welcome the opportunity to assist you.
Paralysis due to mismanagement of
Catastrophic injuries in a head-on car accident
Wrongful death case involving negligent
Plaintiff Rear Ended by
Delay in diagnosis and treatment of cancer
Significant Head Injury Car Accident
What do I prepare for the first call or meeting with you?
For your first meeting with us, simply tell us your story and explain in your own words what happened and how your life has been affected. If you’re meeting with us in person, you can bring notes about what happened to you, driver insurance information, names of any witnesses, photos of the accident damages or injuries, medical records, and other related paperwork if you have it and if it’s applicable, but that information isn’t necessary. Really all you need to do is be yourself, speak with us honestly, and be willing to tackle your problems with us.
Initial conversations between potential clients and our staff members are often done over the phone. Rest assured that everything we discuss is confidential and protected under law.
How much will a lawyer cost me?
The lawyers at Berman & Simmons work on a contingency basis. That means you pay nothing up front and nothing unless we settle or win your case. We will consult with you, evaluate your situation, and do initial research free of charge. This is true even if we decide you don’t have a valid claim. We will also cover all necessary case expenses and you will not be obligated to reimburse us until and unless we recover monies on your behalf. if we do take your case and win a settlement or a jury verdict in your favor, a percentage of the compensation goes to pay for our costs and the work done by our legal team.
How will I know if I have a case?
To pursue a case, we will need to prove that you suffered a substantial personal injury and the injury was directly caused by the negligence of another party. A bad result alone is not enough to establish negligence. We let you know upfront if we are able to move forward with the legal process, or if we don’t think you have a case. Generally, we will know if you have a case after our first phone call or meeting.
If we believe you have a valid claim and decide to move forward with litigation, our attorneys and staff will then take it from there and do everything else that needs to be done, including obtaining and reviewing records relevant to your case, such as accident reports and other law enforcement documents, employer records, medical records, and other information.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
Every case is different, and there is no way to predict how long it will take for your case to be resolved. Some cases end in a matter of months, while the most complex and challenging cases, such as a medical malpractice case, can span several years. The vast majority of cases, however, are resolved before a trial and usually within a year.
The goal is to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, no matter how long it takes whether that comes in the form of a pre-trial settlement, or with a jury verdict in your favor.
How much is my case worth?
There are many factors that need to be considered when determining the value of your case. Every case is unique and it takes a team effort — including your attorney, staff researchers, and outside experts — to determine the extent of your damages and how much your case is worth. There are two types of damages for which you could receive
compensation: Economic and non-economic.
If your case goes to trial and a jury agrees you deserve compensation, the jury members will decide how much the money you should receive for each category of damages.