Power Morcellator Petition Nears 85,000 Signatures, Bernstein Liebhard LLP Reports

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The Firm is evaluating potential morcellator lawsuits on behalf of women who allegedly experienced the spread of uterine sarcoma and other cancers due to the use of power morcellators in laparoscopic hysterectomy and other gynecological surgeries.

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Since Dr. Noorchashm began working to end the use of uterine morcellation, our Firm has heard from a number of women whose uterine cancers were allegedly spread and upstaged by power morcellators. The attention he has brought to this issue is invaluable.

A petition to ban the use of power morcellators (http://www.drugbot.com/morcellator/) in laparoscopic hysterectomies and other gynecological surgeries has gathered nearly 85,000 signatures, Bernstein Liebhard LLP reports. According to figures posted on Change.org, at least 84,908 supporters had signed the petition as of September 17th. *

According to a recent report from ABC News, the Change.org petition was launched nearly one year ago by Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, after his wife, Dr. Amy Reed, was diagnosed with Stage 4 leiomyosarcoma shortly after undergoing a hysterectomy with a power morcellator. Doctors have told the couple that her cancer, which prior to the surgery was undetected and hidden in uterine fibroids, was likely spread as the morcellator cut the tissue into small pieces for removal via an abdominal incision.**

“Since Dr. Noorchashm began working to end the use of uterine morcellation, our Firm has heard from a number of women whose uterine cancers were allegedly spread and upstaged by power morcellators. The attention he has brought to this issue is invaluable,” 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 reducing 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.

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. Many of those in attendance said they were never told that a power morcellator had the potential to spread uterine cancers, and pleaded with the FDA to ban the devices.***

Since the FDA meeting, U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, both of New York, have written to the agency urging it to ask all manufactures of power morcellators to recall the devices.**** Just weeks earlier, Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, Inc. unit did announce a morcellator recall for three such devices due to their uncertain safety profile. *****

Court documents also indicate that a number of power morcellator lawsuits have been filed in recent months on behalf of women who allegedly experienced the spread of cancer during uterine morcellation. On May 13th, for example, a claim was filed in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, which alleges the use of a Wolf Power Morcellator promoted the dissemination of uterine cancer cells throughout a woman's peritoneal cavity. (Case No. Case5:14-cv-02209-PSG)

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, September 17, 2014
**abcnews.go.com/Health/couple-fought-ban-medical-procedure-wifes-cancer-back/story?id=24797149#disqus_thread, ABC News, August 7, 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/2014/08/19/schumer-gillibrand-back-greece-mans-crusade/14304213/, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 26, 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.

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Felecia L. Stern, Esq.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP

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