Four Dutch people hold Philips responsible because their sleep apnea device may not work and may have released a carcinogenic gas. They want the medical technology company to know if using the device has led to health problems for them and they want Philips to pay for the research.
It is related to respirators for home use by apnea patients. The foam used in appliances to dampen sound can be dangerous. Not only can it break down into small particles, but it can also release certain chemicals, for example after coming into contact with certain cleaning agents.
The Dutch company already issued a safety warning about this earlier this year and started recalling. Several complaints that the device may cause have been mentioned. According to the lawyer, the four users he represents are affected by these complaints. One of his clients was also diagnosed with lung cancer.
But it is not yet clear if the latter is due to the device. According to the lawyer, they should first check if their device is not good. Putting these on a test kit in the lab can check if particles have been released and chemicals are released. “Users have the right to certainty and clarity. Philips is responsible for the problem and therefore it is also responsible for the solution.”
Philips has already begun repairing and replacing its sleep apnea devices in the United States, among other places. In total, this concerns 3 to 4 million devices. Philips has allocated a total amount of 500 million euros to this matter. Frans van Houten, Philips CEO, noted earlier this month that this should be enough to repair or replace devices. No money has yet been allocated to claims against Philips over dangerous respirators. More than a hundred cases are now underway. According to Van Houten, it’s still too early to say anything about this, and there will likely be a definitive answer next year.
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