Philips agrees to $1.1 billion settlement for faulty CPAP machines

A judge will have final approval of Philips' $1.1 billion settlement of suits over its CPAP machines - UnSplash

Consumers can receive money for each individual device they return

Dutch electronics company Philips has agreed to a massive $1.1 billion settlement to resolve lawsuits linked to its CPAP and ventilator machines consumers were using for sleep apnea. Consumers who return a machine will be compensated as much as $1,500.

In 2021, Philips recalled 15 million of the devices because of complaints about the polyester-based polyurethane foam, which is used to limit the sound and vibrations the machines make.

The biggest issues: the foam was disintegrating and users were breathing in the particles, and/or the foam produced chemicals that were dangerous for users’ health. 

The potential risks of exposure to these particles and chemicals include skin, eye, and respiratory irritation; inflammatory response; headache; asthma; adverse events to other organs; toxic carcinogenic effects; dizziness; hypersensitivity; nausea/vomiting; long-term impairment and even death. 

Between April 1, 2021, and April 30, 2022, the FDA received over 21,000 medical device reports for the Philips CPAPs and ventilators, and 130 deaths have been linked to the devices in these reports. 

The settlement

While Philips maintains that the company isn’t at fault for the life-threatening risks the devices posed, it has agreed to a $1.1 billion settlement. 

All eligible devices were sold between 2008 and 2021, and those who are eligible will receive: 

  • A device payment award for each recalled device they purchased, leased or rented

  • A device return award of $100 for each recalled device they purchased, leased, or rented, or were prescribed that they have already returned or that they return by August 9, 2024

  • A device replacement award if they spent their own money to purchase a comparable CPAP, BiPAP, or ventilator on or after June 14, 2021, and before September 7, 2023 to replace a recalled device. 

Consumers’ individual device payment awards will depend on the recalled device that they’ve used in the past. Some devices yield a return over $1,500, while others are several hundred dollars. The total amount affected consumers walk away with will also depend on whether or not they return their recalled device. 

Because some CPAP users rent their devices, and over 58,000 people have already filed claims related to their devices, the process of claiming the settlement will be different for everyone. 

Consumers can access the official Philips’ settlement site here to get a step-by-step guide on their eligibility, how to file their claim, and the fastest way to get their money. 

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