Morcellator Cancer Lawsuits Allege Power Morcellation Can Spread Undetected Uterine Cancer During Laparoscopic Hysterectomies and Fibroid Removal Surgery.
The filing of multiple morcellator cancer lawsuits has gained the attention of the federal government over the last couple of years. Including the FBI investigating Johnson & Johnson’s knowledge of the potential to spread uterine cancer, including the aggressive leiomyosarcoma when power morcellators are used to remove the uterus or uterine fibroids. In the most recent move, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first tissue containment system to isolate uterine tissue that is not suspected to contain cancer. Power morcellator manufacturers, including Ethicon, Karl Storz, Richard Wolf, Blue Endo, and Lina Medical, are defending themselves against morcellator cancer lawsuits alleging they failed to warn doctors and their patients for the potential to spread undetected uterine cancer when laparoscopic power morcellation is used.
“While this new device may isolate non-cancerous uterine tissue, there is still no guarantee that power morcellators will not spread undiagnosed cancerous tissue during surgery,” says Dr. François Blaudeau, co-founder of Southern Med Law. Dr Blaudeau filed the first morcellator cancer lawsuits nationally against morcellator manufacturers including LiNA Medical and Johnson & Johnson’s unit, Ethicon Inc. The power morcellator lawsuit was settled last July for an undisclosed amount (Morcellator cancer lawsuit Case No. 5:14-cv-1557, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania). Dr. Blaudeau also serves on the Plaintiff Steering Committee for power morcellator lawsuits (Uterine Cancer Lawsuit Filings MDL No. 2652)
Southern Med Law urges women or their families who have been diagnosed with uterine cancer following a hysterectomy or myomectomy using laproscopic power morcellation to contact Southern Med Law by calling 1-205-547-5525 or you can visit www.southernmedlaw.com for more information and to submit a contact form
In the recent FDA announcement the agency stated that the PneumoLiner device is intended to be used only in a very limited patient population, including women without uterine fibroids undergoing hysterectomy and some pre-menopausal women with fibroids who want to maintain their fertility. The FDA further stated the medical device is intended to isolate and contain non-cancerous tissue before surgery even if that tissue is subsequently determined to be cancerous. William Maisel, deputy director for science and chief scientist at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said the PneumoLiner has not been proven to reduce the spread of potentially cancerous tissue during power morcellation.
Laparoscopic power morcellators have a spinning blade that cuts uterine fibroids into fragments so the tissue can be removed through small incisions in the abdomen. Undetected cancer cells, which are hidden in the uterine fragments being removed, can spread into the abdominal and pelvic cavity and disseminate throughout the body. The FDA estimates that 1 in 350 women who undergo hysterectomy or myomectomy for fibroids is found to have an unsuspected uterine sarcoma.
The FDA issued two warnings in 2014 about power morcellators potential to spread undetected cancer. After the FDA’s warning, Johnson & Johnson came under investigation by the FBI to determine whether the company knew about the cancer risks associated with its Ethicon unit’s power morcellators, according to the Wall Street Journal. A U.S. Congressional investigation on morcellators is also underway.
[wsj.com/articles/fbi-is-investigating-surgical-device-1432746641, Wall Street Journal]
[wsj.com/articles/government-watchdog-to-investigate-hysterectomy-device-found-to-spread-uterine-cancer-1441385550, Wall Street Journal]
The first morcellator cancer lawsuits filed by Dr. Blaudeau was on behalf of a Pennsylvania widower whose 53-year-old wife had died of disseminated leiomyosarcoma in February 2013. She had developed the uterine cancer after undergoing a robot-assisted hysterectomy in March of 2012. The suit was brought against Morcellator manufacturers, LiNA Medical APS, Kebomed AB & LiNA Medical US. (Case No. 5:14-cv-1557, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania) Southern Med Law is currently representing women in other claims involving Ethicon. Since then over 30 morecallator cancer lawsuits have been filed in federal court. In recent months, Johnson & Johnson has been settling power morcellator cancer lawsuits, including those filed by Southern Med Law, according to Dr. Blaudeau, who was a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for federal multidistrict litigation in morcellator lawsuits against Ethicon pending in the U.S. District Court, District of Kansas. According to the Wall Street Journal, the undisclosed settlement amounts have ranged from $100,000 to $1 million.
[wsj.com/articles/johnson-johnson-settling-cases-tied-to-device-that-spread-uterine-cancer-1458324981, Wall Street Journal]
About Southern Med Law And Filing A Power Morcellator Lawsuit
Southern Med Law is an experienced law firm providing legal representation to the men and women across the country who have been victims of negligent personal injuries, medical malpractice, dangerous drugs, faulty medical devices and defective products. Led by Dr. François Blaudeau, an attorney and a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist, the legal staff at Southern Med Law possesses 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