CPAP users affected by the ongoing Philips Respironics recall received welcome news recently, as the company agreed to a $479 million settlement related to the recall. While this certainly seems like a step in the right direction for people who have been negatively impacted by the CPAP recall, it’s important to understand what this settlement does and doesn’t cover.
Let’s take a look at what this latest update means for people who have used Philips Respironics devices.
A Refresher on the Recall
First, a quick reminder on what the recall covers. The original recall was issued in 2021 as a result of foam degradation that led to chemical exposure in several CPAP and BiPAP devices produced by Philips Respironics. The sound abatement foam, when degraded, was found to emit volatile organic compounds, including carcinogens like dimethyl diazine.
The recall was wide-reaching, affecting the following Philips Respironics product lines:
- DreamStation CPAP, Auto CPAP, & BiPAP devices
- DreamStation GO devices
- System One ASV4 series
- System One 50 series CPAP & BiPAPs
- System One 60 series CPAP & BiPAPs
- Trilogy 100 Ventilator
- Trilogy 200 Ventilator
- Additional products not sold in the U.S.
Millions of customers were affected by the recall, and were instructed to send their devices in for repair or replacement. However, the recall process itself has been rife with problems, from significant delays in getting new devices and repair kits sent out to consumers, to repaired DreamStation 1 devices getting sent out with incorrect serial numbers (which subsequently resulted in improper treatment levels).
Needless to say, the process has been stressful and frustrating for many.
What is the Settlement For?
The settlement was announced on September 7 as the result of ongoing class-action lawsuits against the company that have been filed in the wake of the recall.
As CNN reports, “The settlement will go toward users who bought or rented the recalled devices and those who incurred out-of-pocket costs or had to reimburse users for those costs. […] Philips will pay awards to users for each recalled device, which range from $55.63 to $1,552.25. They’ll also receive a device return award of $100 for each recalled device given back to the company to cover the cost of a new machine.”
While the initial settlement amount was reported as $479 million, that number is poised to increase as more Philips Respironics users affected by the recall return their devices to the company.
As of September, Philips Respironics had replaced nearly 2.5 million of the recalled CPAP devices in the U.S. However, it is estimated that over 5.5 million Philips Respironics devices in the United States were affected by the recall, showing just how far there is to go in resolving the issue.
What Does the Settlement Not Cover?
Notably, the recently revealed Philips Respironics settlement only applies to financed replacements — essentially, the costs incurred by CPAP users and vendors in their efforts to quickly replace the affected devices.
The settlement does not address any of the personal injury claims related to the recall that have been filed against Philips Respironics, nor does it address related medical care/monitoring costs. This is especially important, because, as The New York Times reports, “The F.D.A. and some experts have criticized Philips for not notifying consumers when it first learned of potential flaws with some of its devices. Agency and court records show that concerns at Philips emerged in 2015. More than 105,000 injuries and 385 reports of deaths that were possibly related to the foam breakdown in Philips machines have been reported to the F.D.A.”
Lawyers involved in the lawsuit against Philips explain that even though the company has agreed to a settlement for device replacement costs, they are continuing to pursue claims regarding the other aspects of the case.
Unsurprisingly, Philips Respironics currently seems poised to fight against the personal injury claims, with its own internal risk assessments alleging that foam particle and emission exposure “is unlikely to result in appreciable harm to health.” Despite this, it is clear the company expects more trouble regarding the lawsuits, as it was reported in June that the company was planning to set aside $630 million for expected lawsuit settlements, as well as lay off roughly 10,000 employees.
So, what comes next if you were affected by the Philips Respironics recall? First, it’s important to be aware that the current settlement still needs to be approved by a federal judge. Assuming the settlement is approved, consumers should be proactive in reaching out to determine what they need to do to receive their share of the settlement.
Especially in light of the complaints that have surrounded Philips during the recall process — including complaints that the company hasn’t always notified people affected by the recall — it would be wise to not wait for Philips to reach out to you. Instead, be proactive about checking for updates from the company, and reach out to them once more information is made available.
In the meanwhile, it’s understandable how the situation surrounding the recall can be stressful, especially if you haven’t yet replaced your recalled Philips Respironics device. At No Insurance Medical Supplies, you can get quality replacement CPAP machines from other leading brands like ResMed at significantly discounted prices. In addition to potentially saving hundreds of dollars off of MSRP with our best price guarantee, you can also enjoy free shipping on orders of $99 and more, as well as available financing on purchases of $500 and up.