July 7, 2024
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Philips Faces EU Class-Action Lawsuit Over Toxic Foam in Respirators

Philips faces a class-action lawsuit in Europe over potential health risks from deteriorating foam in their sleep therapy devices and ventilators, with the plaintiffs seeking compensation for over 1.2 million users
Philips Faces EU Class-Action Lawsuit Over Toxic Foam in Respirators
Tom Aberschwarth - Unsplash

Dutch medical technology company Philips is facing a European class-action lawsuit over allegations that deteriorating foam in their sleep apnea devices and ventilators poses health risks to users.

Milan, Italy, became the battleground for this legal action on June 27th, as the Global Justice Network and the Italian consumer association ADUSBEF initiated the collective lawsuit. The claim seeks compensation for over 1.2 million European users who may have inhaled toxic particles from the degrading foam, which is suspected to be carcinogenic and linked to potentially fatal illnesses.

The lawsuit targets sleep therapy devices and mechanical ventilators that Philips has been marketing for over a decade. These devices, designed to aid patients with sleep apnea and respiratory issues, contain a sound abatement foam that, upon degradation, releases a harmful powder. Philips issued a field safety notice in June 2021 and initiated a global recall of the affected devices. In the United States, a similar class action litigation resulted in a $1.1 billion settlement in September 2023, although Philips admitted no fault or liability.

This new European class action aims to secure compensation for emotional distress and physical damages allegedly suffered by European users. Stefano Bortone, a partner at Ambrosio&Commodo and president of the Global Justice Network, emphasized the importance of ensuring that all eligible individuals can participate in the action.

While Philips has yet to be formally served with the lawsuit, a company spokesperson stated that extensive testing conducted with independent laboratories and experts has not indicated any appreciable harm to patients' health from using the devices. Nonetheless, further testing is ongoing.

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