May 5, 2014 – This month, a product liability lawsuit was filed on behalf of a New York woman who claims that an Ethicon power morcellator which was used to remove a uterine fibroid during a robotic hysterectomy caused the spread of an aggressive form of cancer throughout her body. Morcellators are commonly used during robot-assisted hysterectomy surgeries to cut the uterus into tiny pieces that can be removed through a small incision in the abdomen. These “minimally-invasive” procedures are marketed as a way to reduce recovery time and the risk of infections; however, in certain patients, power morcellators may spread previously undetected cancer into the peritoneal cavity and other parts of the body.
Laparoscopic Power Morcellator Lawsuit Update 7/31/14: Johnson & Johnson is urging surgeons not to use a device that has recently been found to spread certain types of uterine cancer in women. Sales of J&J’s laparoscopic power morcellators were halted earlier this year after the FDA issued a warning which stated that when used for hysterectomy and fibroid removal surgeries, morcellators could spread sarcoma in some patients. Click Here to learn more.
Morcellator Lawsuit Update 5/20/14: A California woman has filed a product liability lawsuit against the company that manufactures the Wolf Power Morcellator, alleging that use of the device during a laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy caused leiomyosarcoma cancer to spread throughout her body. Click Here to learn more.
Free Morcellation Cancer Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer after undergoing surgery with a laparoscopic power morcellator, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the morcellator and we can help.
What’s the Problem?
The hysterectomy cancer lawsuit was filed on behalf of Brenda Leuzzi in the Western District of New York on May 1, and names Ethicon’s Endo Surgery and Women’s Health and Urology divisions as defendants. According to court documents, Leuzzi had no previous cancer diagnosis before undergoing a laparoscopic hysterectomy with an Ethicon Gynecare Morcellex power morcellator. During the procedure, the device allegedly spread leiomyosarcoma throughout her peritoneal cavity.
FDA: Laparoscopic Power Morcellators May Increase Cancer Risk
The new lawsuit comes less than two weeks after the FDA issued a Safety Communication which recommended against the use of morcellators for hysterectomy or myomectomy surgery due to the risk that the machines may spread undiagnosed cancerous tissue to other parts of the body.
FDA has determined that approximately 1 in 350 women who undergo a hysterectomy or myomectomy have an unsuspected type of cancer known as uterine sarcoma. If laparoscopic morcellation is used on these women, there is an increased risk that the device will spread cancerous tissue into the abdomen and/or pelvis.
What is Leiomyosarcoma?
Leiomyosarcoma is an aggressive cancerous tumor composed of smooth muscle cells that can spread through the bloodstream and can cause damage to the lungs, liver, blood vessels, or any other soft tissue in the body. It is most commonly found in the abdomen and/or uterus. Symptoms of a leiomyosarcoma may include:
- Abdominal mass
- Abdominal pain
- Enlarged liver
- Kidney dysfunction
- Abdominal discomfort
- Leg swelling
Leuzzi’s complaint alleges that Ethicon knew – or should have known – about the cancer risk associated with laparoscopic power morcellation, but that the company failed to adequately warn about this risk or to make the device safer. The lawsuit also lists several unnamed companies as defendants which were involved in the production, marketing, design and sale of gynecological devices that were used on Leuzzi.
The lawsuit includes allegations of negligence, product liability, breach of warranty, fraudulent misrepresentation and omission. Leuzzi’s husband is also suing for loss of services, society, companionship and consortium of his wife. The couple is pursuing both compensatory as well as punitive damages.
Do I Have a Morcellation Cancer Lawsuit?
The Medical Device Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in laparoscopic power morcellator lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new morcellation cancer cases in all 50 states.
Free Morcellation Cancer Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer after undergoing surgery with a laparoscopic power morcellator, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Morcellation Cancer Suit and we can help.