Horst D. Deckert

Philips Settles for $1 billion in US Cases over Sleep Apnea Machines Linked to Cancer

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The Dutch health-device manufacturer was facing thousands of lawsuits for injury and death

Dutch medical-device manufacturer Philips announced on Monday that it has reached an $1.1 billion deal in the US to settle a number of class-action lawsuits brought over its DreamStation sleep-apnea machines.

The lawsuits were brought after Philips announced a nationwide recall of certain machines because of concerns about a polyurethane foam used in the machines to dampen the noise they make when running. It was discovered that the foam could degrade into small particles or off-gas into chemicals that would be inhaled by users as they slept. Some of these chemicals are known carcinogens.

By April 2022, there were nearly 300 active lawsuits against Philips in the US alone. Lawsuits link the devices to various respiratory conditions including asthma, pneumonitis, and pulmonary fibrosis and cancers of the mouth, airways, lungs, blood and thyroid. Over 500 deaths have been alleged.

In January of this year, Philips agreed with regulators that it would cease to sell sleep-apnea machines in the US, as part of an agreement with regulators. The cost of that agreement is estimated to be $400 million.

As part of the new settlement reached on Monday, Philips will not “admit any fault or liability, or that any injuries were caused by Respironics’ devices.”

Philips posted losses of over $500 million in 2023. The company has cut thousand of jobs.

After the announcement of the settlement, the company’s shares rallied by 43%.


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