Widower Who Allegedly Lost Wife to Morcellator Cancer Settles with Lina Medical
A man who lost his wife to an aggressive form of uterine cancer after it was allegedly spread and upstaged by a power morcellator has reached a settlement with Lina Medical, the manufacturer of the device used in her surgery. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the undisclosed settlement resolves what otherwise would have been the first morcellator lawsuit to go to trial in the U.S.
Power morcellators are used in hysterectomies and myomectomies to shred tissue so that it can be removed from a woman’s body via a small abdominal incision. The newly-settled lawsuit was filed in March 2014, just a month before the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) publically discouraged doctors from using the devices in uterine surgeries due to their potential to disseminate undetected uterine cancer cells. The case was scheduled to go before a jury in November.
According to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the plaintiff’s wife died in February 2013, just 11 months after she had undergone a morcellator hysterectomy. Following the procedure, the 53-year-old woman learned that she actually had leiomyosarcoma, a rare but aggressive form of uterine cancer.
According to the FDA, approximately 1 in 350 women undergoing hysterectomy or myomectomy for the treatment of uterine fibroids is later found to have uterine sarcoma, a type of cancer that includes leiomyosarcoma. That rate is much higher than clinicians once believed. Not only are these cancers difficult to detect before surgery, they also become much more dangerous if they are allowed to spread outside of the uterus.
In November 2014, the FDA issued a second morcellator cancer warning, and cautioned against the use of the devices in the majority of women who require a hysterectomy or myomectomy.
Despite the settlement of this power morcellator lawsuit, the litigation involving theses devices is far from over. In fact, at least 21 additional claims that put forth similar allegations regarding their role in spreading uterine cancers are pending in federal courts around the U.S. Last month, a group of plaintiffs petitioned the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) for the consolidation of all federal morcellator cases, asserting that the number of such filings is likely to increase.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is now offering free, no obligation legal reviews to any woman who experienced the spread of uterine cancer following morcellation, or their surviving loved ones. To learn if you might be eligible to file a morcellator lawsuit, please call 1-877-779-1414 to speak with a member of our legal staff today.