Johnson & Johnson is settling a number of product liability lawsuits alleging that its power morcellators harmed women by spreading undetected cancer cells during routine laparoscopic procedures.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer after undergoing surgery with a power morcellator, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
What’s the problem?
March 22, 2016 – About 100 lawsuits have been filed or prepared against J&J’s Ethicon unit over injuries allegedly caused by the company’s laparoscopic power morcellator device, according to The Wall Street Journal. Of these complaints, nearly 70 have been settled over the past few months.
It’s still unclear exactly how much J&J will offer to settle the cases. Morcellator settlements have ranged anywhere from $100,000 to about $1 million; the company will likely spend many millions more before the litigation process is complete.
J&J is also in talks to resolve other morcellator claims, and faces separate morcellation lawsuits in state courts, according to the WSJ.
The company’s legal problems surrounding its morcellators started in 2014, when regulators began looking into adverse event reports associated with the devices. On April 17, 2014, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the potential health risks posed by morcellators. The agency estimated that about 1 in 350 women with fibroids also have previously undetected uterine sarcoma, and that morcellators can spread cancerous tissue throughout the body in these patients.
As a result of these problems, J&J suspended sales of its related devices. A few months later, the company issued a worldwide recall for its power morcellator products. The action was partly influenced by an FDA panel meeting, which recommended upgrading the devices’ safety labels to warn of increased risks.
“Due to this continued uncertainty, Ethicon believes that a market withdrawal of Ethicon morcellation devices is the appropriate course of action at this time until further medical guidelines are established and/or new technologies are developed to mitigate the risk,” said J&J spokesman Matthew Johnson.
In Nov. 2014, FDA required that power morcellators carry a “black box” warning recommending against use of the device in the “majority” of women undergoing a hysterectomy. However, the agency stopped short of banning morcellators altogether, saying the devices’ benefits may outweigh the risks in certain patients.
Do I Have a Power Morcellator 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 morcellator lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you suffered complications following a procedure that involved the use of a laparoscopic power morcellator, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.