Power morcellators are devices that are used to make it easier to remove fibroids during laparoscopic surgeries. During a hysterectomy, the device grinds up a patient’s uterus, uterine fibroids, and other tissues, allowing them to be removed through a small incision in the abdomen and making the procedure minimally invasive.
However, these devices may also increase the risk of spreading cancer cells throughout the body, especially in women who may have undiagnosed uterine cancers. Some patients have claimed that the grinding action of the morcellator allows the cancer cells to become disseminated throughout the other systems in the body, significantly reducing the patient’s chances of cancer survival.
Many lawsuits involving morcellators have arisen in recent years due to:
- Failure to warn. Some patients are accusing the manufacturers of the device, including Johnson & Johnson, of knowingly selling and marketing a defective and unreasonably dangerous product without properly warning doctors and consumers of the risks.
- FDA warnings. In April 2014, the FDA that released a statement saying that one out of every 350 women who requires surgery for uterine fibroids could have undiagnosed sarcoma, and openly acknowledged that there was no way to make power morcellators safer. The FDA also announced that while hysterectomy morcellators will remain on the market, the agency increased its cancer warning on the device to “black box” status, the highest possible warning issued by the FDA.
- Hospital negligence. While many hospitals have suspended its use of morcellators for hysterectomy procedures, hospitals that continue to use the device have come under fire. In one case, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston was accused of putting patients at risk by continuing to use the device for two years after it became aware of the risks. The hospital has since limited its use of the device, including imposing restrictions on which patients may undergo morcellation during surgery.
Could I Join a Morcellator Lawsuit?
There are currently hundreds of morcellator cases under investigation across the U.S., and at least 20 lawsuits against the manufacturer and hospitals are pending in state courts. The defective medical device attorneys at Wayne Wright LLP can tell you if you are eligible to join one of these lawsuits, and you will pay no fees unless we win your case. Call us today at 800-237-3334 for more information.