Power Morcellator Petition Signatures Exceed 86,000, as Cancer Worries Continue to Mount, Bernstein Liebhard LLP Reports

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The Firm is evaluating potential legal claims on behalf of women who allegedly experienced the spread of uterine sarcoma and other cancers following uterine morcellation.

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Drs. Noorchashm and Reed launched their campaign approximately one year ago, and they have succeeded in bringing much needed attention to this matter. We are pleased that their petition to ban power morcellators continues to garner support.

More than 86,000 people have now signed on to a petition seeking to ban the use of power morcellators (http://www.morcellatorlawsuit2015.com) in laparoscopic hysterectomy and fibroid removal procedures, Bernstein Liebhard LLP reports. According to Change.org, at least 86,042 supporters had signed the petition as of October 31, 2014. That’s an increase of more than 430 signatures since October 10th, when 85,608 supporters where reported.*

The campaign to ban uterine morcellation is being spearheaded by Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, and his wife, Dr. Amy Reed. According to the Bucks County Courier Dr. Reed was diagnosed with advanced-stage Leiomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of uterine cancer, after undergoing morcellation to remove uterine fibroids. Her doctors suspect that the power morcellator, which is used to cut uterine tissue into small pieces so that it can be removed through a small abdominal incision, spread cancer cells that were hidden in her fibroids. **

“Drs. Noorchashm and Reed launched their campaign approximately one year ago, and they have succeeded in bringing much needed attention to this matter. We are pleased that their petition to ban power morcellators continues to garner support,” says Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm representing victims of defective drugs and medical devices. The Firm is now evaluating potential legal claims on behalf of women who may have experienced the spread of undiagnosed cancers due to uterine morcellation.

Power Morcellators and Cancer
In April, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert discouraging doctors from using power morcellators in minimally-invasive gynecological surgeries, due to the risk that the devices can spread undetected cancer cells into a woman’s peritoneal cavity. This can result in an upstaging of the cancer and greatly reduce a patient’s chances of long-term survival. At the time, the FDA estimated that 1 in 350 women with uterine fibroids actually have undetected uterine sarcoma cells within that tissue. According to the agency, screening for these cancers prior to surgery is difficult, and not always successful.

In July, the FDA’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Panel met for two days to discuss the risks associated with uterine morcellation. According to a report from The Boston Globe, the panelists heard emotional testimony from a number of cancer victims and their families, including Drs. Noorchashm and Reed, who urged the agency to ban power morcellators.***

In the wake of the FDA’s meeting, U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, both of New York, wrote to the agency urging it to ask all manufacturers of power morcellators to recall the devices. However, the FDA recently responded to the Senators, and indicated that it had no plans to do so at this time.****

While the FDA may not be ready to push for a power morcellator recall, at least one company that manufactures the devices has decided to withdraw them from the market. In July, Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc. unit announced a withdrawal of its Gynecare Morcellex, Gynecare X-Tract and Morcellex Sigma morcellator system because the risks and benefits associated with morcellation remain uncertain.*****

Patients whose cancers may have been spread via uterine morcellation could be entitled to file their own morcellator lawsuit against the manufacturer of the device used in their surgery. To learn more about the risks potentially associated with power morcellators, please visit Bernstein Liebhard LLP's website. To obtain a free legal review, please call 800-511-5092.

*change.org/p/women-s-health-alert-deadly-cancers-of-the-uterus-spread-by-gynecologists-stop-morcellating-the-uterus-in-minimally-invasive-and-robot-assisted-hysterectomy, Change.org, October 10, 2014
**buckscountycouriertimes.com/news/communities/newtown/lower-makefield-native-s-battle-with-cancer-fuels-benefit-run/article_04b45e36-f106-5a0e-aa63-48e9c7ad974f.html, Bucks County Courier Times, October 10, 2014
***bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2014/07/11/agreement-reached-whether-fda-should-ban-hysterectomy-cutting-tool/EkXZaFAUUnT5HZ7DBQvWbM/story.html, Boston Globe, July 11, 2014
****democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2014/10/09/power-morcellation-fibroid-gillibrand-schumer/16975935/, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, October 10, 2014
*****ethicon.com/sites/default/files/managed-documents/Ethicon%20Morcellation%20Devices%20Customer%20Letter%20Final.pdf, Ethicon, Inc., July 30, 2014

About Bernstein Liebhard LLP
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is a New York-based law firm exclusively representing injured persons in complex individual and class action lawsuits nationwide since 1993. As a national law firm, Bernstein Liebhard LLP possesses all of the legal and financial resources required to successfully challenge billion dollar pharmaceutical and medical device companies. As a result, our attorneys and legal staff have been able to recover more than $3 billion on behalf of our clients. The Firm has been named by The National Law Journal to the Plaintiffs’ Hot List, recognizing the top plaintiffs firms in the country, for the past 12 consecutive years. Bernstein Liebhard LLP is the only firm in the country to be named to this prestigious list every year since it was first published in 2003.

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ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. © 2014 Bernstein Liebhard LLP. The law firm responsible for this advertisement is Bernstein Liebhard LLP, 10 East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016, 800-511-5092. Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter.

Contact Information:
Felecia L. Stern, Esq.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP

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