picture of gavel, https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Legal_Gavel_(27571702173).jpgThere are multiple websites that help publicize and decipher class action lawsuit settlements for consumers. Here are just a few that look the most comprehensive:

These are privately-run websites and I wouldn’t give them your personal information or payment details, but they can be very useful for research purposes as the official lawsuit websites are often hard to understand. They can help sort through the legalese and help you understand your eligibility status and the requirements for filing a claim.

In addition, scanning them regularly can even help you protect you and your family. Today I stumbled across a banner ad regarding a Benefiber class action settlement. (I try to consume a lot of fiber in general, including Benefiber…) While researching this settlement on TopClassActions.com, I ran across news of a class action lawsuit against Philips CPAP machines. One of my children uses a Philips CPAP, and it turns out that in June, Philips somewhat quietly recalled their CPAP machines due to a defect which could release carcinogenic materials into their lungs (!). Philips never contacted me directly and I would not have found out about this otherwise.

Philips issued a voluntary recall of some of its CPAP machines and ventilators over concerns the PE-PUR sound abatement foam could degrade and become toxic, and potentially cause cancer.

When the foam deteriorates, tiny particles and gases may be inhaled or ingested. CPAP users may experience chemical exposure and develop health issues such as headache, hypersensitivity, irritation, nausea, vomiting, and potential carcinogenic effects.

I checked the serial numbers and our machine is affected. I have filed a claim and they now promise to (eventually) repair or provide me with a new CPAP machine without the defect. No timeline is provided at all.

I know that class action lawsuits are often criticized for being rather frivolous, arguing about terms like “natural” and “healthy” and whatnot, but in this case this website and the lawsuit provided me a real service. I doubt Philips is excited about shipping thousands of new replacement CPAP machines which can cost over $1,000 each. Philips is thus incentivized to be as quiet as possible about this recall. However, in the case of a class action lawsuit, they are incentivized to publicize it in order to find affected consumers like myself. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes some bad publicity to speed up remedial action. I hope that Philips does right by their customers and provides a replacement quickly. Check out the sites and you may learn about products you use that affect your own health and/or safety.

Bottom line. Scanning class action lawsuit websites periodically can help you come across important food and other safety issues that aren’t well-publicized.

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Class Action Settlement Websites: The Consumer Safety Benefit from My Money Blog.

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