Press Releases First European class action launched over Philips respirators

First European class action launched over Philips respirators

Brussels, 4th July 2024, Global Justice Network (GJN), an international coalition of lawyers defending victims and consumers around the world, and ADUSBEF, a prominent Italian consumers association, have promoted a class action against Phillips on behalf of all European users affected by defects in continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) respirators and life-saving mechanical ventilators.

The complaint was filed last Friday in Milano, Italy.

Claimants from different EU member states are the named representatives of the class, including relatives of wrongful death cases  of lung cancer. More than 20 lawyers from 15 different law firms are involved in the litigation. Eight experts in different areas of science have been hired.

CPAP ventilators are devices that use air pressure to keep the airway open during sleep. They are mainly used by patients affected by sleep apnea disorders. Mechanical ventilators are used in Intensive Care Units  and home care for people with major respiratory disorders.

Devices are affected by a serious design flaw which allows the patient while the device is operational to breathe in particles and gases generated by their inner insulation. The inhalation of such particles and gases can cause serious and life-threatening injuries, such as lung inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, among others. The distress and fear generated by the use of the device is also  common among users.

Over one million people, according to Philips internal documents, have been using these devices in Europe to treat their sleep disorders and respiratory issues. Worldwide there are 15 million impacted units, and 5 million were sold in the USA.

In the United States, actions brought by those affected have already resulted in a large settlement for the benefit of users.

If the class action is successful, as we believe it will be, all those affected will have the opportunity to join the claim and be properly compensated for damages, both physical and mental.

Philips has admitted in 2021 that such devices exposed plaintiffs and all other users to toxic compounds that can cause, as confessed by the defendants “serious, life-threatening injuries, cause permanent damage or require medical intervention to prevent permanent damage”.

Experts have found more than 50 toxic compounds that are emitted by those devices. Many of them are of high concern including known carcinogens, irritating agents, and endocrine disruptors.

Discovery documents from the US class action show that Philips knew of the issue since 2008, and in 2016 it was discussing internally about the degradation of the foam insulation. In 2020 Philips assessed exposure to users as “unacceptable”. Roy Jacobs, Philips CEO, is asked to be cross-examined by the Court on liability and internal knowledge.

A website has been created to provide information to users:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *