Petition to Ban Power Morcellators in Uterine Surgery Surpasses 85,000 Signatures, 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 gynecological cancers due to a power morcellator.

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Over the past year, Drs. Noorchashm and Reed have done tremendous work to bring attention to the dangers potentially associated with uterine morcellation. It’s not surprising that so many people have signed this petition.

A petition to ban the use of power morcellators (http://www.morcellatorlawsuit2015.com/) in laparoscopic hysterectomies and other gynecological surgeries has gathered more than 85,000 signatures, Bernstein Liebhard LLP reports. According to figures posted on Change.org, at least 85,608 supporters had signed the petition as of October 10, 2014.*

According to a report from the Bucks County Courier Times, the morcellator petition was launched last fall by Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, and his wife, Dr. Amy Reed. 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 spread cancer cells that were hidden in her fibroids. After multiple surgeries and chemotherapy, the 41-year-old mother of six appears to be cancer free. But there is a chance her cancer could re-occur.**

“Over the past year, Drs. Noorchashm and Reed have done tremendous work to bring attention to the dangers potentially associated with uterine morcellation. It’s not surprising that so many people have signed this petition,” 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.***

Just weeks after the meeting, Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon, Inc. unit announced that it was withdrawing its Gynecare Morcellex, Gynecare X-Tract and Morcellex Sigma morcellator systems from the market because the risks and benefits associated with such devices remain uncertain.**** U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, both of New York, have also wrote to the FDA following the meeting, urging it to ask all manufactures of power morcellators to recall the devices.*****

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
****ethicon.com/sites/default/files/managed-documents/Ethicon%20Morcellation%20Devices%20Customer%20Letter%20Final.pdf, Ethicon, Inc., July 30, 2014
*****democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2014/08/19/schumer-gillibrand-back-greece-mans-crusade/14304213/, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 26, 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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