Ethicon Morcellator Lawsuits Move Forward, As Federal Litigation Schedules Initial Conference
The federal multidistrict litigation established last month for power morcellator lawsuits filed against Ethicon, Inc. is soon to get underway. On October 16th, the court overseeing the new proceeding issued its first Practice and Procedure Order, which among other things, indicates that an Initial Scheduling Conference will be convened on November 18th at 1:00 p.m.
Ethicon, a division of Johnson & Johnson, is facing more than two dozen lawsuits that allege its power morcellator products can spread and upstage undetected uterine cancer cells when used to perform minimally-invasive hysterectomies and myomectomies. Consolidation of the federal docket in the U.S. District Court, District of Kansas, is intended to promote judicial efficiency by allowing all pending and future lawsuits involving similar allegations to undergo coordinated pretrial proceedings, including discovery and motions practice.
According to the Court’s October 16th Order, this month’s Conference will address all matters relating to pretrial and discovery proceedings. The parties have been directed to submit any proposed case management orders or agenda items to the Court by November 10th. The Court has also requested that the parties submit a brief written statement on or before that date indicating their preliminary understanding of the facts involved in the Ethicon morcellator litigation, as well as the critical factual and legal issues.
Power Morcellators and Cancer
Ethicon was once a leading marketer of power morcellators. But in July 2014, the company suspended sales of its three morcellator products: Gynecare Morcellex,” “Morcellex Sigma” and “Gynecare X-Tract.”
Since April 2014, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued two public health alerts regarding the potential for power morcellators to disseminate undetected uterine cancer cells into the peritoneal cavity. According to the agency, this occurrence greatly reduced a woman’s chances of long-term survival. The FDA now warns against the use of uterine morcellation in the majority of women who require hysterectomies or myomectomies.
You may be eligible to file a morcellator lawsuit if you or woman you care about were diagnosed with advanced uterine cancer following uterine morcellation. To schedule a free review of your case, please call 1-877-779-1414.