A case against Philips Respironics alleges that the company’s recalled CPAP machines caused economic losses. Koninklijke Philips NV and its affiliates, including Philips Respironics, have filed a motion to dismiss all claims against them.
In June 2021, Philips issued a recall of 5.5 million Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices after it was discovered that the foam used to dampen the noises made by the machine was breaking down and emitting toxic gasses and particles. Because CPAP machines are used to keep airways open in order to treat conditions such as sleep apnea, these particles and gasses could be inhaled and cause airway irritation as well as health complications, including cancer.
The Dec. 6 motion from Philips stated that the 112 individual plaintiffs and the 10 commercial entity plaintiffs lacked standing to sue because they did not claim that their devices had actually harmed them, according to Reuters. Furthermore, Philips claims that no economic damages could be sought since the company had offered to repair or replace the recalled devices for free.
The plaintiffs have stated that they are seeking economic damages because they would not have paid for the CPAP devices if they knew of the dangers and declared the replacement devices “worthless.” In the motion, Philips called this claim an attempt to “avoid the natural conclusion that there has been no economic injury.” Philips also claims that the products actually performed as intended and the plaintiffs failed to claim that the recalled devices manifested any defect or failed to work as intended.
Additionally, Philips claims in their motion that their Respironics subsidiary “has undertaken a significant remediation program through which consumers can register to have their devices repaired or replaced—at no cost to them—plus receive a new warranty for the repaired or replaced device.” By creating this program, Philips claims that they have contravened plaintiffs' alleged economic losses.