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Philips Agrees to $1.1 Billion Settlement in US Sleep Machine Cases

Photo : Reuters

Dutch medical technology giant Philips has announced a monumental $1.1 billion settlement deal in the United States, marking a significant milestone in resolving lawsuits concerning its faulty sleep apnea machines. The agreement, reached on Monday, follows a tumultuous period for the company, which has been embroiled in a crisis stemming from its DreamStation devices, designed to address the sleep disorder characterized by interrupted breathing patterns during rest.

Since 2021, Philips has grappled with a series of setbacks linked to its DreamStation machines, prompting widespread concern among users and healthcare professionals alike. The company's decision earlier this year to cease new sales of these devices in the US, coupled with a string of recalls, underscored the severity of the situation and the urgency to address the issues at hand.

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In a statement released on Monday, Philips acknowledged the settlement as a pivotal step in resolving personal injury litigation and a medical monitoring class action in the US. While emphasizing that the agreement does not constitute an admission of fault or liability, the company sought to alleviate uncertainties surrounding the ongoing legal battles.

The settlement, which encompasses claims filed in US courts and potential future cases, is slated for disbursement in 2025, with funding sourced from Philips' cash flow. The company disclosed a provision of 982 million euros ($1.05 billion) allocated in the first quarter to cover the settlement, signaling its commitment to addressing the matter comprehensively.

Additionally, Philips announced an agreement with insurers to provide 540 million euros in coverage for recall-related claims associated with its subsidiary, Philips Respironics. These strategic maneuvers reflect Philips' concerted efforts to mitigate financial risks and uphold its commitment to stakeholders amidst the turbulent legal landscape.

Despite the resolution of the litigation, Philips continues to grapple with the fallout from the DreamStation crisis. The company's financial performance has been impacted, with losses amounting to 463 million euros ($501 million) over the course of 2023. In response to operational challenges, Philips has initiated workforce reductions, underscoring the broader implications of the crisis on its organizational structure and strategic priorities.

April 29, 2024 2:36 p.m. 5954

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