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Philips settles sleep apnea device lawsuits for $1.1 billion

Philips settles sleep apnea device lawsuits for $1.1 billion
Philips settles sleep apnea device lawsuits for $1.1 billion 03:50

Philips, a leading maker of CPAP machines, has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle lawsuits over faulty sleep apnea devices. The company said more than 58,000 people have already registered for the settlement, with the potential for tens of thousands more who have reported injuries from using the now-recalled CPAP machines.

Since 2021, Philips has recalled over 15 million breathing machines due to a foam used for noise reduction that was disintegrating and entering users' mouths.

In a statement, Philips said it does not admit any wrongdoing but chose to settle "to end the uncertainty associated with litigation in the U.S."


The settlement will compensate users who suffered serious physical injuries and fund research on treating these injuries.

Earlier this year, the FDA reported receiving over 116,000 complaints of foam degradation in Philips devices since 2021, including 561 death reports.

Janet Gray of White Settlement, a sleep apnea sufferer, criticized Philips for mishandling the recall, leaving users to choose between using a recalled device or sleeping without one.

"It was horrible," Gray said in a 2023 CBS News Texas I-Team interview. "You are afraid to go to sleep because if you go to sleep without it, you might die. But if you go to sleep with it, it might kill you down the road."


This personal injury settlement comes just months after Philips agreed to another settlement.

In September, the Dutch company settled a class-action lawsuit for economic damages that are estimated at $479 million. Under this financial damage settlement, users are entitled to a $100 award if they return their recalled device by Aug. 9, 2024.

To register a claim for the financial loss settlement, visit the dedicated website.

In April, Philips agreed to temporarily halt all sales in the U.S.

How to file a claim (from CBS MoneyWatch)

To determine whether one is eligible and for instructions on what steps, if any, are needed to receive a payment, the settlement administrator has set up in interactive website here.

Users can look up their recalled device's serial number to see what device payment award they may be entitled to by clicking here.

Those who return a recalled Philips machine by the August deadline are entitled to both the return and payment awards without having to submit a claim form and can use prepaid shipping labels by clicking here at no cost. 

Those who spent their own money buying a comparable replacement CPAP or ventilator to replace a recalled device will need to complete a device replacement claim form, which can be found here. A paper device replacement form can also be found here or by calling 1-855-912-3432.

The deadline for claim submissions is Aug. 9, 2024.

The settlement does not impact or release any claims for personal injuries or medical monitoring relief, according to the administrator with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. 

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