The same problem that plagued defective Philips CPAP sleep apnea treatment machines has affected another line of products.
This recall affects Philips Trilogy 100 and 200-series ventilators. The company previously recalled these ventilators in 2021, but the company assured the Food and Drug Administration that it had fixed the problem. Trilogy 100 and 200 ventilators, which are widely used in a number of settings, contain polyurethane foam linings to deaden the gadget’s sound. These vibrations break up the foam, so patients could inhale microscopic particles, which are highly toxic.
Unsafe continuous positive airway pressure machines, which pump air into sleeping people to keep their airways open, have already prompted tens of thousands of lawsuits throughout the country.
The medical device industry is very lucrative and very competitive. Device companies can charge pretty much anything for their wares, and insurance companies will pay it, mostly because they pass these costs onto consumers. For this same reason, the medical device industry is cutthroat. As soon as one company develops a better mousetrap, other similar devices almost immediately become obsolete.
Therefore, to stay one step ahead, medical device manufacturers often take shortcuts. Frequently, this shortcut is a:
- Manufacturing Defect: The deteriorating foam inside a Philips ventilator could be a manufacturing defect. Frequently, product makers use cheap parts to reduce costs and pad their profits. Consumer safety means very little to most companies, especially if safety conflicts with the bottom line.
- Design Defect: A design defect could be an issue as well. Perhaps the ventilator’s vibrations were simply too strong. If that is the case, Philips should have adjusted the ventilator’s settings to prevent such problems. But that adjustment probably would have made this ventilator less attractive to insurance companies, hospitals, and other customers.
Deteriorating polyurethane foam is a major problem because this substance is one of the most dangerous carcinogens known to mankind. A few tiny particles could cause a serious illness that is often fatal.
Your Claim for Damages
If a product defect caused injury, a Marietta personal injury lawyer may be able to obtain substantial compensation in court. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages are often available in these claims, as well. Typically, these companies know about the risks, yet they fail to adequately warn people about them.
Generally, manufacturers are strictly liable for the injuries their defective products cause. At least in terms of liability, there is no need to prove negligence or fault.
The unforeseeable misuse doctrine is generally the only available defense in these matters. Victims are legally responsible for their own injuries if they misused, or rather abused, a product. The misuse must be extreme (e.g. riding a jetski in a swimming pool). Foreseeable misuses, like setting a ventilator or CPAP machine too high, are usually not a defense.
Defendants often contest cause in these situations. That’s especially true in dangerous drug cases. Product makers routinely call “experts” who testify that a dangerous drug is as safe as mother’s milk. So, attorneys must collect substantial evidence on this point to ensure maximum compensation.