“The public health center of the Paris prosecutor’s office has seized important documents in understanding the health file of Philips respirators”, reveals this Friday. franceinfo.?
The documents, sent by a consortium of French, American, Italian and Austrian prosecutors, will sink Philips, which used the carcinogenic foam in the composition of its respirators after being warned of the risks as early as 2016.
370,000 patients are concerned in France
The Philips respirator case began in June 2021, when the Dutch team recalled several models of the device from around the world, which are used to help patients breathe better and specifically against sleep apnea.
Used by around 370,000 patients in France and 1.5 million across Europe, these devices contain sound-absorbing foam, some of which emit particles from the devices and can therefore be inhaled or ingested by the patient.
It can cause irritation such as headaches, but also a long-term cancer risk. Users are taking legal action, especially in France.
At least 26 complaints in France
A preliminary investigation was opened in June for “endangering the lives of others”, “aggravated deception” and “administration of harmful substances”. At least 26 complaints have been registered in France, according to the public health department of the Paris prosecutor’s office.
This Friday, the Paris prosecutor’s office received new documents that could be huge.
“Indiscriminate attacks on bodily integrity and life”
According to Maître Christophe Lèguevaques, lawyer for the two federations of respiratory patients (FFAAIR and FNATH), “this case is about false commercial practices and arbitrary attacks on physical integrity and life,” franceinfo reported.
Christophe Lequaux relies on documents proving that the company and some of its US subcontractors were aware of the problem “long before the recall of their products without notifying the relevant health authorities or users of the respirators”. I was able to examine the documents.
Warning from 2016
Among them, the testimony of a senior technical director of an American company specializing in industrial polyurethane foams, who told US courts that he was approached by subcontractors and representatives of Philips in 2016 about the deterioration of this foam. His company would have formally advised against using it in favor of another, more reliable one. So advice that may not have been asked.
Yet according to franceinfo, “a hundred French people, including a dozen cases of lung cancer, are waiting for judicial information to be opened to file a collective complaint against Philips”.