Philips Settles Recall of Respiratory Devices

Philips, in response to a widespread recall of its sleep apnea and respiratory devices, has reached a significant settlement. This resolution specifically addresses U.S. class action claims related to “economic loss.” Under the terms of the agreement, Philips will initiate an initial payment of $479 million into a fund allocated to compensate claimants covered by the settlement. The precise amounts of compensation will be contingent on the type of device each claimant had in their possession.

Back in 2023, the company had proactively earmarked 575 million euros (equivalent to $615.48 million) in preparation for expenses linked to economic loss claims. Steve Klink, a representative for Philips, acknowledged that final costs could be subject to change based on the extent of participation from affected patients. However, he affirmed that the allocated 570 million euros should be adequate to address the financial aspects of the ultimate settlement.

The recall in question encompassed millions of breathing devices and ventilators used in sleep apnea treatment. This recall was prompted by the deterioration of foam utilized to dampen noise from these devices, which raised concerns about potential toxicity and associated cancer risks.

In spite of this settlement, Philips still faces additional legal challenges arising from the recall. These encompass personal injury claims and an ongoing inquiry by the U.S. Department of Justice. Additionally, the company is in ongoing discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding a prospective “consent decree” or settlement.

Lawyers representing claimants from four prominent firms have hailed this settlement as a substantial stride toward justice, urging participants to carefully consider the agreement. However, they have underscored their intent to persist in pursuing personal injury and other claims against Philips. They have expressed confidence in the legitimacy of these claims and emphasized their unwavering commitment to holding Philips accountable for the physical harm experienced by patients.