Morcellator Uterine Sarcoma Lawsuit
Were you or a woman you care about diagnosed with uterine sarcoma following a laparoscopic hysterectomy or fibroid removal procedure? Your cancer may have been spread by a device called a power morcellator, a surgical tool which is widely used in minimally-invasive uterine surgeries. In April 2014, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned doctors and hospitals against morcellation in gynecological surgeries, due to growing evidence that power morcellators could spread undetected uterine cancer cells throughout a woman’s abdomen and pelvic cavity.
Women who were allegedly victims of morcellator cancer, as well as their families, have begun to file morcellator lawsuit claims against the manufacturers of these devices. They allege that the companies marketing these products failed to warn doctors and patients that they could cause uterine sarcoma and other cancers to spread. Bernstein Liebhard LLP is investigating these types of claims, and is offering free power morcellator lawsuit reviews to potential claimants. Our attorneys can fully explain the process of filing such a lawsuit, and will work tirelessly to help you and your family obtain the compensation you deserve.
Power Morcellators and Uterine Sarcoma
The FDA approved the first power morcellators in 1995. Since then more than 2 dozen such devices have been launched on the market by various medical device manufacturers, including Ethicon, Blue Endo and LiNa Medical. Power morcellators were approved via the FDA’s 510 (k) process, which means they were not subjected to human trials before coming to market.
In a laparoscopic hysterectomy or fibroid removal, a power morcellator is used to chop up tissue so that it can be removed through a small incision made in the abdomen. The potential for power morcellators to spread uterine perforations began to get widespread attention in late 2013, when Dr. Amy Reed and her husband, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, launched a Change.org petition seeking a ban on the use of morcellators in uterine surgeries. Dr. Reed, the mother of 6, was diagnosed with stage 4 leiomyosarcoma shortly after she underwent morcellation for uterine fibroids.
In December 2013, the FDA launched a review of the procedure, as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and other media outlets began to publish articles about the petition launched by Dr. Reed and Dr. Noorchashm.
FDA Discourages Power Morcellation in Uterine Surgery
The FDA published the findings of its review in April 2014. According to the agency, a survey of available literature indicated that the risk of morcellating an unsuspected uterine sarcoma is 1 in 352 and the risk of morcellating an unsuspected uterine leiomyosarcoma is 1 in 498. The agency recommended that power morcellators no longer be used for laparoscopic hysterectomy or myomectomy in most women with uterine fibroids. The FDA’s review, however, is not complete. According to the advisory, the agency will convene a panel of outside advisers in the summer of 2014 to review the available data and to provide recommendations about any further actions the FDA should take.
In response to the FDA’s actions, Johnson & Johnson said its Ethicon unit would suspend sales of power morcellators until federal regulators can provide additional guidance about their risks. Several hospitals have also suspended use of the devices, or have taken steps to limit their use while the FDA’s investigation is pending.
How to File a Morcellator Lawsuit
Plaintiffs in morcellator lawsuits could be entitled to significant damages, including compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Reduced quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
To learn more about your legal options, please contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP today to schedule your free power morcellator lawsuit review. Our office can be reached by calling 1-877-779-1414.