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Medical Device Suppliers Hit Philips Respironics with Class Action

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Medical Device suppliers have filed a class action lawsuit against Philips Respironics over its recalled CPAP and BiPAP machines.

Glenside, PAPhilips is hit again with a class action lawsuit, but this time medical device makers join thousands of consumers who filed complaints over the defective sleep apnea machines alleged to cause cancers and respiratory injuries. Baird Respiratory Therapy, Inc., filed in March 2022 a class action lawsuit against Philips in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, seeking to represent durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers nationwide who purchased Philips’ recalled breathing machines.

Here are events leading up to Baird’s Class Action lawsuit, according to court documents:
  • Philips developed, marketed, and sold millions of CPAP and BiPAP respirator devices to DME suppliers, including Baird.
  • Those suppliers in turn resell these devices to patients with a markup and partial or full payment by patients’ insurance provider, with any shortfall being made up by the end user.
  • At the end of April 2021 Philips disclosed in its quarterly report that CPAP and BiPAP respirators posed health risks to its users—as per consumer reports.
  • On June 14, Philips recalled several models of of BiPAP, CPAP, and mechanical ventilator devices “to address identified potential health risks related to the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam component in these devices.”
  • Philips admitted to suppliers the Recalled Products are defective and unsafe, and instructed them not to resell any devices.
  • Philips Unreasonably Delayed Its Recall and knew of the degradation of PE-PUR foam well in advance of issuing the recall yet continued to manufacture and sell the Recalled Devices to Plaintiff and other DME suppliers with such awareness for a significant period of time.
  • During this time, Philips unreasonably and unjustly profited from the sale of the Recalled Devices.
  • Although Philips has recently announced a repair and replace program for the end user patients, it has offered no relief or compensation to DME suppliers that have the Recalled Devices.
  • The medical device supplier is seeking a refund relating to the acquisition of its Recalled Devices, non-defective replacement devices that are currently in its inventory, and all other appropriate damages.

Baird claims that Philips breached its express warranty and misrepresented the potential risks (cancer and other injuries) inherent in the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) foam found in the machines. Because Philips “unreasonably delayed its recall” by waiting to notify Baird and other suppliers of reports indicating that the PE-PUR foam could breakdown and put users in harm’s way and it knowingly allowed its packaging, labels, advertisements, promotional materials, and websites to intentionally mislead Baird and other suppliers about the recalled products, Baird and other suppliers lost money when they were unable to resell the recalled CPAP and BiPAP machines.  The case is Baird Respiratory Therapy, Inc. v. Philips, 2:22-cv-00886.

Baird Respiratory Therapy, a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal place of business in Glenside, is suing Philips for breach of express warranty, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraud by omission, and unjust enrichment. On behalf of itself and a putative nationwide class of durable medical equipment suppliers, the medical device maker seeks a declaratory judgment and monetary relief of over $5 million.

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READER COMMENTS

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I am so afraid I am going to get sick from this C-Pap machine. I used it every night and even when I napped. I started noticing I was getting more headaches and not feeling well. Then I saw when I cleaned and dried out the water reservoir each morning there was black soot in it. I contacted SoClean, as I thought it was their hoses that was causing the problems. I cleaned the whole machine by hand, changed the hoses and still the problems continued. Finally, I stopped using the machine. Then I heard about the recall and it all started making sense. I feel horrible for the people who already have cancer from this. I know it was making me sick. I am frightened about what the long term consequences will be.

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