Power Morcellator Lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP Comment on Mounting Litigation Involving Uterine Morcellation

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Morcellator lawsuits filed on behalf of women who allegedly experienced the spread of uterine sarcoma and other malignancies have been mounting in U.S. courts following warnings from the FDA about the potential for power morcellators to upstage undetected uterine cancers.

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We are not surprised that this litigation is growing, considering the public attention that this matter has received over the past year.

The power morcellator lawyers (http://www.morcellatorlawsuit2015.com) at Bernstein Liebhard LLP note that a growing number of legal claims have been filed in U.S. courts against morcellator manufacturers on behalf of women who allegedly experienced the spread of uterine sarcomas and other gynecological cancers due to the use of these devices in minimally-invasive hysterectomies and fibroid removal procedures. For example, court documents indicate that Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc. unit was named in two such claims this month, both of which allege wrongful death. The first morcellator lawsuit, which was filed on February 3rd in the U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina, claims that the use of a Gynecare Morcellex device during a hysterectomy promoted the spread of undetected leiomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of sarcoma, which ultimately led to the death of a South Carolina woman last September. (Case No. 6:15-cv-00516-MGL) On February 5th, a similar complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, on behalf of a woman who allegedly died from uterine cancer that was spread by an Ethicon Morcellex Sigma Tissue Morcellator. Among other things, that complaint alleges that the use of containment bag during the decedent’s hysterectomy did not prevent the spread of undiagnosed leiomyosarcoma beyond her uterus. (Case No. 2:15-cv-00553-JHS)

“These two complaints are just the latest to be filed in recent months, and follow two warnings from the FDA regarding the potential for power morcellators to spread and upstage undiagnosed uterine malignancies. We are not surprised that this litigation is growing, considering the public attention that this matter has received over the past year,” says Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm representing victims of defective drugs and medical devices.* The Firm is providing free legal consultations to women who were diagnosed with advanced uterine cancers following uterine morcellation.

Power Morcellators and Cancer
Power morcellators are used to shred tissue during minimally invasive hysterectomies and fibroid removal surgeries so that it can be removed from the body via a small abdominal incision. In April 2014, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) publically discouraged doctors from using the devices in gynecological surgeries because of their potential to spread and upstage undiagnosed malignancies present in fibroids at the time of surgery.* Then in November 2014, the FDA issued a second alert warning against the use of power morcellators in the majority of women who require hysterectomy and fibroid removals because of these risks. The agency also asked morcellator manufacturers to add a new black box warning – the strongest possible safety notice – regarding this life-threatening complication to their labels.

Court records indicate that the number of morcellator lawsuits pending in U.S. courts has grown since the FDA issued its public health alerts. On December 23, 2014, for example, a claim was filed against Karle Storz Inc. in the U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina on behalf of a woman who was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of uterine cancer following surgery with a Storz Rotocut GI morcellator. (Case No. 2:14-cv-04839-RMG). A similar a complaint filed on December 3, 2014, in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri, alleged that the use of an Ethicon Gynecare morcellator during a hysterectomy resulted in a woman’s death due to the rapid upstaging of an undiagnosed uterine malignancy. (Case 4:14-cv-01074-JTM).

In July 2014, Ethicon announced that it was removing its Gynecare Morcellex, Gynecare X-Tract and Morcellex Sigma morcellators from the market. The announcement came just weeks after the FDA convened an advisory panel meeting to discuss the risks associated with uterine morcellation.**

Alleged victims of uterine sarcoma or other cancers allegedly spread via power morcellation may be entitled to compensation for their injury-related damages. To learn more about filing a morcellator lawsuit, please visit Bernstein Liebhard LLP's website. To obtain a free legal review, please call 800-511-5092.

*fda.gov/medicaldevices/safety/alertsandnotices/ucm393576.htm, FDA, April 17, 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. © 2015 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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