Morcellator Cancer Lawsuits Look To Be Dissolved After Ethicon Settles Complaints

   

Morcellator Cancer Lawsuits Against Ethicon, Inc. Allege That Ethicon’s Morcellators Spread Uterine Sarcoma, Including Leiomyosarcoma A Rare Uterine Cancer.

power-morcellator-uterine-cancer-southern-med-lawThe federal judge presiding over morcellator cancer lawsuits against Ethicon has recommended that the MDL be dissolved since most of the 42 cancer lawsuits have been settled. The complaints were consolidated into one MDL in Kansas. All of the morcellator cancer lawsuits allege that Ethicon’s power morcellators used during a hysterectomy or myomectomy have the potential to spread undetected cancer, including leiomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of uterine cancer. (In Re: Power Morcellator Products Liability Litigation–MDL No. 2652)

Southern Med Law and its founder, Dr. François Blaudeau, were the first to file a federal morcellator cancer lawsuit in March 2014. The case involving LiNA Medical APS, Kebomed AG and LiNA Medical USA, the makers and distributors of power morcellators, was settled the following year. Since then, Southern Med Law filed 10 lawsuits against Ethicon, Inc., on behalf of women who developed cancer after undergoing a procedure in which Ethicon’s morcellator was used. Earlier this year, Southern Med Law settled the 10 morcellator cancer lawsuits against Ethicon.

“While we cannot discuss our settlement, we are pleased that Ethicon has settled other cases involving its power morcellator,” says Dr. Blaudeau, who was a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Ethicon MDL pending in the U.S. District Court, District of Kansas. (In Re: Power Morcellator Products Liability Litigation–MDL No. 2652)

U.S. District Judge Kathryn H. Vratil, who is presiding over the MDL in Kansas, recommended to the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to send the four remaining morcellator cancer lawsuits back to the federal courts in which they originated. Ethicon is named as a defendant in only two of those cases. Judge Vratil’s recommendation was prompted by a joint motion filed in May by Ethicon and the plaintiffs which asked to dissolve the MDL since most cases had been settled. The panel established the MDL in October 2015 for coordinated and consolidated pretrial proceedings for the Ethicon cases. The JPML, however, denied a request to add morcellator manufacturers Karl Storz, Richard Wolf, and Gyrus ACMI because the differences among their products would “predominate over the common issues.” (In Re: Power Morcellator Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2652)

Laparoscopic power morcellators shred uterine tissue for removal through small incisions in the abdomen. However, when undetected cancer cells are in the tissue, a power morcellator can spread the sarcoma through the abdomen and pelvis, according to the morcellator cancer complaints. Due to the cancer risks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restricted the use of power morcellation in the majority of women undergoing a hysterectomy or myomectomy. The medical device is now under investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress, according to media reports. [pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2015/06/15/fbi-investigating-johnson-johnson-over-morcellators/]
[philly.com/philly/health20150905_GAO_to_investigate_medical_devic.html]

The GAO’s investigation was prompted by U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), who co-sponsored the “Medical Device Guardian Act of 2016” (H.R. 5404). The bill requires doctors to report all injuries involving medical devices to the FDA. Currently, only hospitals and medical device manufacturers are required to report injuries to the FDA. The Congressman also asked the FDA to conduct a criminal investigation into certain deaths linked to Ethicon’s power morcellators used at Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Rochester General Hospital and the University of Rochester Medical Center.
[louise.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/fitzpatrick-slaughter-announce-package-medical-device-fda-reform-bills]
[massdevice.com/pa-rep-fitzpatrick-wants-fda-to-launch-criminal-probe-into-morcellator-deaths/, Mass Device]

About Southern Med Law And Filing A Power Morcellator Cancer Lawsuit

Southern Med Law is a full service law firm representing victims of negligence, personal injuries, medical malpractice, dangerous drugs, faulty medical devices and defective products. Led by Dr. François Blaudeau, an attorney and a practicing obstetrician/ gynecologist, and the legal staff at Southern Med Law possesses a deep understanding of the complex medical and legal questions at issue in all manner of power morcellators. They are not afraid to take on the manufacturers to make them accountable and enable all of their clients to have the aggressive legal representation they deserve.

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
francois@southernmedlaw.com

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