Last month, medical device company Philips drew national attention from the plaintiffs’ bar when it recalled over 3 million sleep apnea CPAP machines based on serious health concerns. Philips instructed users to immediately stop using the recalled devices because they could be causing them to inhale toxic chemicals.
The nature and circumstances of the recall have plaintiffs’ speculating on whether former users of the recalled devices will have viable claims in a CPAP product liability lawsuit. The success of future CPAP recall lawsuits will depend on 2 factors: (1) the extent of Philip’s liability which will be driven by what they knew and when; and (2) the scientific evidence linking the defect in the CPAP devices to specific health consequences. In this post we will focus specifically on the first factor – what did Philips know and when.