The recent Philips CPAP recall lawsuit has gotten lawyers focused on CPAP machines, how they work, and the risks associated with them.
Below are settlement compensation amounts and verdict payouts in CPAP-related lawsuits.
CPAP Settlements and Verdicts
- 2020, South Carolina: $485,000 Settlement. An 80-year-old man was hospitalized for a foot infection. He was outfitted with a CPAP machine and a pulse oximeter. Three weeks later, the man was found unresponsive. He suffered cardiac arrest for ten minutes, an anoxic brain injury, and oxygen deprivation. The man never regained consciousness. His family hired a lawyer and alleged that the hospital staff’s negligence caused his death. They claimed they failed to timely monitor and respond to the CPAP and pulse oximeter alarms. This case settled for $485,000.
- 2018, Louisiana: $300,000 Verdict. A 58-year-old obese man suffered lumbar pain. He presented to the hospital. The hospital staff suspected a spinal abscess. The man underwent an MRI. During the procedure, he stopped breathing. A pulmonologist and ER physician attempted to resuscitate him. They were unsuccessful. The man died as a result. His family alleged negligence against the hospital. They claimed its staff failed to appreciate the fact that the man was CPAP dependent before positioning him for the MRI. The family argued that they should have intubated him. A jury found the hospital negligent but not the pulmonologist. They awarded $300,000.
- 2016, Ohio: $1,200,000 Settlement. A 76-year-old woman felt ill while undergoing an MRI. The MRI facility staff called 911. The woman went into cardiopulmonary arrest in the ambulance. She became unresponsive. The EMTs performed CPR. The woman was at the hospital two days later. Her cause of death was an anoxic brain injury. The woman’s family alleged negligence against the City of Columbus. They claimed the EMTs failed to properly address her respiratory distress. The family argued that they should have used a CPAP machine and administered furosemide and albuterol. This case settled for $1,200,000.
- 2012, Alabama: $15,000,000 Verdict. A 45-year-old woman underwent a cardiac bypass. Following the procedure, the woman underwent CPAP ventilation. An arterial blood gas revealed mild acidosis and slightly elevated carbon dioxide levels. The woman then underwent ventilation. The anesthesiologist ordered the administration of Propofol. The woman eventually went into cardiac arrest. An ER physician attempted to resuscitate her with high adrenaline doses and closed-chest massages. The woman died several minutes later. Her family alleged negligence against the hospital. They claimed its staff administered a high Propofol dose, failed to mechanically ventilate her, improperly monitored her, and failed to call for additional help. The jury awarded $15,000,000.
- 2011, Massachusetts: $1,200,000 Settlement. A 60-year-old man with sleep apnea underwent a knee replacement. He suffered no complications. Following the procedure, the man treated his pain with epidural analgesia, Dilaudid, and Nubain. He eventually underwent doses of Oxycontin, Bupivacaine, Neurontin, and Dilaudid. The following day, the man could not move. He received a continuous positive motion device applied to at least one of his legs. The CPAP machine was not turned on while the man slept. He was not breathing thirty minutes after falling asleep. The hospital staff attempted to resuscitate him. They were unsuccessful. The man failed to regain consciousness. His family alleged that the hospital staff’s negligence caused his death. They claimed they failed to turn on the man’s CPAP machine and appreciate his sleep apnea risk. The defense disputed whether failing to turn on the device violated the standard of care. This case settled for $1,200,000.
Can I Use These Settlements to Determine the Payout in My CPAP Lawsuit?
You really cannot use these settlements to estimate the settlement compensation payout in your Philips CPAP recall lawsuit because it is comparing apples to oranges. Our lawyers do speculate as to the CPAP settlement payout amounts elsewhere.
How Does a CPAP Machine Work?
CPAP machines work by delivering air froma hose into the patient’s mask while sleeping. The idea, and it is a good one, is that consistent airflow will help keep the airway open to fight sleep apnea for most people.
What Is the Single Biggest Challenge Victim Face in Their CPAP Lawsuits?
It is early in the CPAP sleep apnea litigation. Our lawyers expect there will be good evidence victims suffered respiratory injuries and cancer as the result of Philips’ negligence. The bigger challenge will be linking up the negligence with the specific injuries and cancers. CPAP victims need to show not only that Philips was negligent but that its negligence was a substantial contributing cause to harm that was caused. This is required before the judge lets the case go to the jury. Our lawyers’ guess is that science will be able to link up some of the cancers but not all of them. But it remains to be seen as the CPAP class action MDL proceeds through the discovery process.