Southern Med Law Represents Women In Morcellator Cancer Lawsuits Who Where Diagnosed With Uterine Cancer After Undergoing A Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
Another morcellator cancer lawsuit has been filed against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit on behalf of a Wisconsin woman who underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy and was diagnosed with leimoyosarcoma, a life-threatening and aggressive form of uterine cancer. The complaint has claims similar to other power morcellator cancer lawsuits filed against morcellator manufacturers, Karl Storz, Richard Wolf, Blue Endo, and Lina Medical, which are accused of failing to warn that their medical devices have the potential to spread cancer.
The Wisconsin woman uterine cancer lawsuit claims Ethicon’s Gynecare laparoscopic power morcellator caused the spread and upstaging of hidden cancerous tissue. After her cancer diagnosis was confirmed, the woman underwent multiple cycles of chemotherapy treatments for over two years, the lawsuit said. In April 2011, the woman had a CT scan that showed three large masses within her abdomen and pelvis. As a result, the woman had to undergo additional chemotherapy treatment. The morcellator cancer complaint purports that the woman still suffers from the disease because Ethicon’s morcellator disseminated her leiomyosarcoma. (Case No. 2:16-cv-00101, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin)
“The details in morcellator cancer complaints continue to reveal the long-lasting and devastating effects that laparoscopic power morcellators have on women who undergo surgery to remove uterine fibroids,” says Dr. François Blaudeau, founder of Southern Med Law, which is currently representing women in multiple power morcellation lawsuits against Ethicon Inc.
Additionally, Southern Med Law was the first Firm in the country to file a federal power morcellator lawsuit. The firm represents Scott Burkhart, a Pennsylvania man whose wife, Donna Burkhart, died of disseminated leiomyosarcoma in February 2013, which she developed after undergoing a power morcellator hysterectomy in March 2012. The lawsuit, which was filed against morcellator manufacturers, LiNA Medical APS, Kebomed AB & LiNA Medical US, was settled in July for an undisclosed amount. Dr. Blaudeau also serves on the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee for morcellator litigation. (Case No. 5:14-cv-1557, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
More than 650,000 women undergo a myomectomy or hysterectomy each year in the United States, according to morcellator cancer complaints. In the last few decades, laparoscopic procedures with electric power morcellator devices have increasingly been replacing traditional open abdominal surgical hysterectomies (removal of the uterus) and myomectomies (removal of uterine fibroids). Power morcellators have spinning blades that shred, grind, and core uterine tissue into small pieces or fragments so the tissue can be removed through small incisions in the abdomen. The fragments can be left in the abdomino-pelvic cavity, or attach to surrounding organs, and tissue cells can travel to remote areas of the body. Complications can occur if the fragments contain cancer cells and seed in other tissue or organs.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that 1 in 350 women who undergo a hysterectomy or myomectomy is found to have an unsuspected uterine sarcoma. In November, 2014, the FDA issued a warning that all but banned the use of power morcellators in the vast majority of women who undergo the laparoscopic surgical procedures. The FDA’s process for approving power morcellators, and the medical device itself, are currently under investigation by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Last year, the power morcellator controversy triggered a probe by the FBI over whether Johnson & Johnson knew about the cancer risks associated with its morcellators.
[fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm424435.htm, FDA, November 24, 2014]
[pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2015/06/15/fbi-investigating-johnson-johnson-over-morcellators/, June 15, 2015]
About Southern Med Law and Morcellator Cancer Lawsuits: Southern Med Law is led by Dr. François Blaudeau, an attorney and a practicing obstetrician/ gynecologist that is determined to stop the morcellator companies from injuring more women. The legal staff at Southern Med Law is an experienced group of attorneys who posses a deep understanding of the complex medical and legal questions at issue in all manner of product liability and personal injury claims. They’re not afraid to take on the nation’s largest corporations in their pursuit of justice, and are committed to ensuring that all victims have access to the type of aggressive legal advocacy that assures success.
Southern Med Law
François M. Blaudeau, MD JD FACHE FCLM Esquire
2224 1st Avenue North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Phone: (205) 547-5525
Fax: (205) 547-5526
Medical Negligence/MedicalDevice/Pharma/Qui Tam