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Philips Settles CPAP Lawsuit for $479 Million

Philips Respironics, a prominent manufacturer of machines for sleep apnea sufferers, has agreed to pay a minimum of $479 million in compensation to customers who purchased their devices. The settlement also includes a $15 million fund for customers seeking to replace their continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. The settlement arises from a lawsuit filed more than two years ago, following reports of foam from the devices unexpectedly entering users’ mouths.

While Philips has admitted no wrongdoing, the company has set aside $615 million earlier this year in anticipation of the settlement. “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,” stated Philips in a blog post.

In 2021, Philips conducted a global recall of its CPAP machines due to reports of foam leakage. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration received approximately 105,000 complaints associated with the faulty devices, including 385 reported deaths. The foam, which is intended to reduce noise, posed potential health risks.

Since the recall, Philips has repaired around 4.6 million devices globally, with 2.5 million of those in the U.S. The company emphasized its commitment to patient safety and quality, stating that the settlement is designed to quickly compensate eligible patients and restore confidence in their products. Complaints filed with the FDA linked the devices to serious health issues such as cancer, respiratory problems, pneumonia, chest pain, dizziness, and infections. The FDA also issued warnings, cautioning Americans about the potential dangers of using Philips CPAP machines.

Though the settlement covers economic losses, lawyers representing CPAP users plan to seek further damages for individuals with personal injury claims. It is estimated that around 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from sleep apnea, a condition characterized by blocked airways during sleep leading to interrupted breathing. While eligible Philips customers will eventually be able to file claims, the company expects to begin paying the settlement funds in the first quarter of 2024 at the earliest.

For more information about the settlement, including how to make a claim, customers can visit [email protected].

Author: Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS MoneyWatch

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