LPR Partner Virginia Buchanan Appointed to Plaintiffs Leadership Team in Philips CPAP MDL

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Levin Papantonio Rafferty congratulates Attorney Virginia Marie Buchanan, a partner with the law firm, for her appointment to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) in the Philips CPAP, Bi-Level PAP, and Mechanical Ventilator Products Litigation (MDL No. 3014).

Attorney Buchanan said she looks forward to bringing justice to those who have suffered from the defective medical devices.

“The June 2021 recall of millions of CPAP and BiPap machines left many Americans feeling frightened and abandoned by the manufacturer,” Buchanan said. “While the physicians treating millions of affected patients scramble to find a workable solution, we hope to get to the bottom of why and how this happened. “We look forward to accountability for this national health crisis.”

Court Appointment Accounts for a Complex Case

On February 15, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania issued a pretrial order establishing the plaintiffs’ leadership structure and appointing plaintiffs’ leadership members. According to the order, the court reviewed 75 applications for plaintiffs’ leadership, conducting interviews of each applicant to learn about their relevant professional experience and contributions they could offer to the plaintiffs and the court in this multidistrict litigation (MDL).

The court made its decision, in part, based on the expected expansive nature of the MDL and the complex and diverse issues of fact, science, and law involved in the class action.

About the CPAP Lawsuits

On June 14, 2021, Philips issued a voluntary recall for various Philips Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (Bi-Level PAP), Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), and mechanical ventilator devices.

The recall speaks to potential health risks presented by the devices’ polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam component. This component can disintegrate or outgas, causing users to inhale and/or ingest toxic and possibly carcinogenic substances.

The CPAP User Manual for the first-generation DreamStation product family—which comprises most of the affected medical devices—failed to warn of these potential health risks. Plaintiffs in the Philips CPAP lawsuits are suing to recover damages, including medical treatment and expenses, lost incomes, and pain and suffering.

Health Risks of the Recalled CPAP, Bi-Level PAP, and Mechanical Ventilators

Health risks associated with particulate exposure in the recalled CPAP and Bi-Level PAP devices include:

  • Possible carcinogenic effects (cancer)
  • Possible toxic effects
  • Respiratory issues
  • Adverse effects to liver, kidneys, and other organs
  • Inflammation
  • Irritation of eye, skin, and respiratory tract


Health risks from the release of volatile organic compounds and other harmful
chemicals in vapor form include:

  • Possible carcinogenic effects (cancer)
  • Possible toxic effects
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Irritation of eye, nose, skin, and respiratory tract
  • Headaches

About Levin, Papantonio, Rafferty

The personal injury law firm Levin, Papantonio, Rafferty, Proctor, Buchanan, O’Brien, Barr & Mougey, P.A. has been representing the injured people of Pensacola since 1955. The firm has gained national recognition as one of the most successful personal injury firms in the country and has been featured on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox, as well as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Forbes, and National Law Journal.

In 66 years of practice, the firm has handled more than 100,000 personal injury claims and won more than $8 billion in jury verdicts and settlements on behalf of its clients.