Southern Med Law Represent Women In Morcellator Cancer Lawsuits That Allege Power Morcellators Can Spread Undetected Uterine Cancer During Hysterectomies And Myomectomies.
Morcellator cancer lawsuits contend laparoscopic power morcellators have the potential of spreading cancer when used during a hysterectomy or myomectomy (removal of uterine fibroids) and lawsuits continue to filed on behalf of women who have developed uterine cancer due to the morcellation device. The most recent morcellator cancer lawsuits to be filed were on behalf two Philadelphia women who assert that morcellator manufacturers, Olympus Corporation and its subsidiary, Gyrus ACMI, misrepresented their products as being safe to use and failed to warn of the cancer risks associated with power morcellators. The claims were filed separately but both are alleging that Olympus’ power morcellators spread undetected uterine cancer in their bodies and the companies failed to design its product to eliminate the cancer risks. The morcellation complaints further allege that Japan-based Olympus should have reasonably known of the dangers associated with their devices. (Case Nos. 150401310 and 150401312, Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County)
“The risk of developing leiomyosarcoma is very real when a woman has a hysterectomy or myomectomy and the women who are filing morcellation lawsuits know all too well about the dangers involved in using power morcellators during these surgeries,” says Dr. François Blaudeau, who recently settled the first morcellator cancer lawsuit against morcellator makers, LiNA Medical APS, Kebomed AG & LiNA Medical US. The complaint was filed on behalf of Pennsylvania resident, Scott Burkhart, whose 53-year-old wife, Donna Burkhart, died of metastatic leiomyosarcoma cancer in 2013, one year after having a robot-assisted hysterectomy with uterine morcellation. (Case No. 5:14-cv-1557, U.S. District Court, District of Pennsylvania)
The law firm notes that laparoscopic power morcellators are used to grind uterine tissue into small fragments during a hysterectomy or myomectomy for removal through small incisions in the abdomen. The morcellator can spread the uterine tissue fragments containing the unsuspected cancer cells into the abdominal and pelvic cavity where the cancer cells may be dispersed throughout a woman’s body. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted an analysis and found that the prevalence of unsuspected uterine sarcoma in women undergoing a hysterectomy or myomectomy to remove benign fibroids is 1 in 352 and the prevalence of unsuspected uterine leiomyosarcoma is 1 in 498. The FDA defines leiomyosarcoma as a rare and aggressive form of soft tissue cancer involving smooth muscle cells in the uterine and gastrointestinal areas.
[fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm424443.htm, November 24, 2014]
Due to the cancer risks surrounding laparoscopic power morcellators, the FDA issued a strong warning in November 2014 against using the devices for the majority of women who require a hysterectomy or myomectomy, including those who are going through menopause, about to enter menopause, or those who are good candidates for minimally invasive procedures that do not require the use of power morcellators. The FDA directed doctors to share this warning with their patients. The agency also directed power morcellator manufacturers to include a black box warning on their product labels about the cancer risks associated with their devices.
Court documents indicate that the growing number of morcellator cancer lawsuits has prompted a petition to the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) for consolidating morcellation complaints. Six plaintiffs involved in power morcellation lawsuits have asked the JPML to transfer 22 morcellator complaints filed in 16 different federal courts across the country, as well as all other subsequently filed morcellator complaints, to the U.S. District Court, District of Kansas for coordinated pretrial proceedings. Court records show that the 22 morcellator cancer lawsuits name Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit as defendants. The JPML has scheduled oral arguments on the petition for October 1. (In Re: Power Morcellator Litigation, MDL Case No. 78)
About Southern Med Law
Southern Med Law and Dr. François Blaudeau, an attorney and a practicing obstetrician/ gynecologist, possess a unique understanding of outhern Med Law is a patient and consumer advocacy organization providing legal representation to the victims of negligent personal injuries, medical malpractice, dangerous drugs, faulty medical devices and defective products. The legal staff at Southern Med Law is 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
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Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Medical Negligence/MedicalDevice/Pharma/Qui Tam