Morcellator Cancer Lawsuit Claims Allege That Power Morcellator Manufacturers Failed To Warn That Their Surgical Tools Have The Potential To Spread Cancer In Women Who Undergo A Hysterectomy Or Myomectomy.
Oral arguments for the consolidation of morcelaltor cancer lawsuits to the U.S. District Court, District of Kansas are scheduled for October 1st. François Blaudeau of Southern Med Law, who is representing clients in morcellator cancer lawsuits, will be attending the proceedings in a U.S. federal court.
Six plaintiffs who filed morcellator claims have asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate 22 morcellator complaints for coordinated pretrial proceedings. Four morcellator manufacturers, however, filed separate briefs asking the federal panel to deny the request. Gyrus ACMI, Johnson & Johnson, Richard Wolf GmbH and Karl Storz GmbH maintained there are too few lawsuits and too many different products and manufacturers to merit the establishment of a multidistrict litigation. The morcellator cancer lawsuits allege that power morcellators used during a hysterectomy (the removal of the uterus) or a myomectomy (removal of uterine fibroids) place women at risk for developing uterine cancer, including a rare and aggressive form called leiomyosarcoma. The complaints accuse morcellator manufacturers of failing to warn about the dangers of their devices, among other things. (In Re: Power Morcellator Litigation, MDL Case No. 78)
“The potential of power morcellators to spread uterine cancer is one of the serious allegations raised in the morcellator cancer lawsuits, regardless of which manufacturer is named as the defendant,” says Dr. Blaudeau, who represented many families, including a Pennsylvania man whose 53-year-old wife died of disseminated leiomyosarcoma in February 2013. The first federally filed morcellator lawsuit was filed on behalf of Scott Burkhart against morcellator manufacturers, LiNA Medical APS, Kebomed AB & LiNA Medical US. According to the complaint, Donna Burkhart developed the disease after undergoing a power morcellator hysterectomy in March 2012. The lawsuit was settled in July for an undisclosed amount. (Case No. 5:14-cv-1557, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
Southern Med Law is currently representing a Michigan woman who developed cancer after undergoing a hysterectomy in July 2013 in which a morcellator was used. The complaint names Karl Storz and its subsidiaries as defendants. (Case No. BC588075, Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County).
The plaintiffs’ petition for consolidation explains that laparoscopic power morcellators have spinning blades that shred uterine tissue into fragments so the tissue can be removed through small incisions in the abdomen.
According to the petition, morcellated fragments can be left in the abdominal and pelvic area or attach to surrounding organs and this allows undetected cancer cells to travel to various parts of a woman’s body. Once implanted, the morcellated fragments begin to grow. (In Re: Power Morcellator Litigation, MDL Case No. 78)
Southern Med Law notes that power morcellators have come under scrutiny by U.S. lawmakers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to the number of cancer complaints associated with the medical devices. In November, the FDA all but banned the use of power morcellators when it strongly warned that the device should not be used in the majority of women who require a hysterectomy and a myomectomy because of the morcellators’ potential to spread undetected cancer. After the FDA’s first warning about the surgical tool in April, Johnson and Johnson suspended global sales, distribution and promotion of its surgical device, which was sold by the company’s Ethicon unit.
[wsj.com/articles SB10001424052702304893404579531961812995326, April 29, 2014]
[fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm424443.htm, November 24, 2014]
In August, 12 bipartisan members of Congress asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate laparoscopic power morcellators and why the FDA “took so long” to warn the public about the morcellators’ potential to spread cancer. The GAO, an independent nonpartisan agency that investigates complaints from Congress, recently agreed to conduct a probe into the surgical device.
[wsj.com/articles/members-of-congress-call-on-gao-to-investigate-surgical-tool-1438978884?mod=rss_Politics_And_Policy, August 7, 2015]
About Southern Med Law And Filing A 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
Medical Negligence/MedicalDevice/Pharma/Qui Tam