Power Morcellator Lawsuits Centralized
Approximately 20 personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson over power morcellators were recently consolidated and centralized when the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) issued an October 2015 transfer order. The cases have now been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) No. 2652 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas before Judge Kathryn H. Vratil. It is expected that the number of cases will rise considerably over time as more women develop cancer.
A power morcellator is a surgical tool that uses small blades to break tissue into small fragments. They are commonly used as treatment for uterine fibroids and in women who are undergoing hysterectomies and myomectomies. Based on research going all the way back into the 1990s, it is strongly believed that the power morcellators are responsible for spreading undetected cancer cells through the abdomens of some women. Because of these many investigations over the years, power morcellators are quite possibly one of the most notorious medical devices in the United States.
Power Morcellators and Uterine Cancer
Researchers strongly believe that, when the power morcellator spreads the cancer cells, it significantly reduces the likelihood of any sort of long-term survival of the patient. In many cases, women who were unaware that they even had cancer at the time of their procedure don't even manage to get a diagnosis until the cancer is in the late stages, when it is too late to successfully treat.
Back in April 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety warning in which they attempted to discourage the use of power morcellation in these types of procedures because their research found that one in 350 women undergoing such procedures may have undiagnosed uterine cancer. At the heart of these lawsuits is an allegation that Johnson & Johnson covered up knowledge that its power morcellators could potentially lead to the accidental spread of uterine cancer. In addition to the general safety warning, in November 2014, the FDA also issued a Black Box Warning, in which they requested that surgeons stop using power morcellators altogether.
According to several reports, the FBI is also investigating when the company and officials with its Ethicon unit knew about the hazards many years before they pulled them from the market in 2014. They have already interviewed a retired pathologist who apparently warned the company of the cancer risks back in 2006.
Power Morcellator Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after a surgeon used power morcellation to treat you, please contact one of the highly experienced Power Morcellator Attorneys at Blizzard & Nabers as soon as possible, so that you may learn more about your rights.