CPAP Lawyers Who Stand Up for Veterans
An alarming number of military veterans struggle with sleep apnea. Service-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and obesity are the two most common service-related connections. Sleep apnea’s symptoms vary from simply annoying to eminently life-threatening. Until very recently, many veterans relied on CPAP or BiPAP machines to essentially breathe for them as they slept. Now, it appears that many of these products have dangerous defects. So, many users are wondering what happens next.
The story of U.S. Army Air veteran Alvin Costner is quite typical. An Ohio VA medical center provided Costner with a CPAP machine, so he could breathe at night. Now, when most people are counting sheep, he weighs life or death issues. “I’m afraid that I’m gonna die in my sleep and on the other hand, I’m also concerned, ‘do I have cancer or not,’” he remarked. “From what they’re saying, this causes CANCER and they’re not telling us what kind of cancer this is either,” he added.
What Should I Do if I Have Used a Philips Respironics CPAP or BiPAP Device?
If you are in this situation, there are several things you can do right now. Thousands of veterans have already signed an online petition demanding that the VA improve its quality control measures, so no other veterans must face choices like Alvin Costner. Furthermore, if you register with Philips Respironics, you become eligible for a replacement device. However, the replacement process might take up to a year.
Most importantly, affected veterans should reach out to the dedicated Long Island defective CPAP machine lawyers at Cohen & Jaffe. We quickly evaluate your situation and advise you of your legal options. Then, once we decide on a course of action together, we begin building your claim for damages. Finally, once the case goes to court, we never stop fighting for you.
These issues are quite common among veterans. The VA uses about 2,000 BiPAP and CPAP machines at its medical facilities. Furthermore, the VA has distributed a staggering 600,000 devices to veterans for home use.
This recall is different from others in that, typically, the government tells people to stop using the recalled divide or drug. But in this instance, if you use one of these machines, it is best to check with your doctor when deciding whether or not to continue using your device. Let your doctor know if you have an older CPAP or BiPAP machine that has been used extensively because continued use could be extremely unsafe.
What are the Health Risks if I Continue to Use My Device?
CPAP breathing machines have been around for quite some time. As mentioned, they are basically compressors which force air into the patient’s mouth and nose to keep air channels open. Unfortunately, early versions of these machines were often so noisy that they kept both patient and partner awake.
So, Philips added a noise-dampening foam to the machine. Polyurethane foam is widely used in all kinds of consumer products. This foam is also highly toxic.
As the compressor vibrates, especially if it is on a higher setting, it breaks up the foam. Microscopic particles could then get into the air hose. The body cannot naturally dispose of toxic particles, like polyurethane foam, heavy metals, and cigarette smoke. So, these particles build up in the body. Eventually, they could cause a wide range of health issues, like breathing problems and cancer. Many veterans who use these gadgets might be sick and not know it.
If I Stop Using My CPAP or BiPAP Device, What Will Happen to My Disability Benefits?
Many veterans fought long and hard for their financial benefits. They are understandably concerned that they might lose these benefits. After all, if medicine controls a disability like epilepsy, you cannot stop taking the medicine so you qualify for benefits.
However, due to the unique nature of the Philips situation, if veterans stop using a CPAP or BiPAP machine, their benefits are unaffected. The same thing is true of a pending application for disability benefits.
Why Should I Contact a Defective CPAP Machine Lawyer?
If a veteran gets cancer because of a defective CPAP machine, the treatment bills could easily exceed $10,000 a month for many years. Since the disease is only marginally service-related, the VA might not pay these costs. Most families cannot possibly afford to pay these expenses out of pocket.
Compensation is not only about medical bill payment. Companies like Philips cannot negligently allow veterans to suffer. These veterans also deserve compensation for their emotional distress and other non- economic losses.
A quick word about manufacturing defects in medical devices. Typically, these companies know about manufacturing issues. Yet they do not warn customers about the elevated risk or spend money to minimize these risks. In other words, they put profits before people.
Furthermore, legal action usually produces immediate results. As mentioned, Philips has said it might take up to a year to replace defective breathing machines. As the number of lawsuits increases, the company will almost certainly move this timetable up, in order to minimize its own losses.
Finally, legal action protects other consumers. This is an idea which is near and dear to the hearts of many veterans who have sacrificed so much of themselves so that other people could benefit. Defective product actions usually include substantial punitive damages awards. When companies must write big checks, they usually change the way they do business. So, filing a legal action is a good way to make a lasting contribution to public health and safety.
Connect with a Dedicated Product Liability Attorney to Discuss Your CPAP Lawsuit
Defective sleep apnea breathing machines have made sick veterans even sicker. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney, contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP for your free consultation. Contact us today!
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900