Power Morcellator Cancer Litigation Update

Categories: Medical device litigation

Laparoscopic power morcellators are medical devices used during different types of laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgeries. These surgeries can include procedures to treat uterine fibroids, hysterectomies or myomectomies. Morcellators cut up tissue into smaller pieces which is intended to facilitate the removal of the tissue through small incision sites.

Unfortunately, as reported by the FDA, when used for hysterectomy or myomectomy in women with uterine fibroids, laparoscopic power morcellation poses a risk of spreading unsuspected cancerous tissue, notably uterine sarcomas, beyond the uterus. As a result, the FDA warns against using laparoscopic power morcellators in the majority of women undergoing hysterectomy or myomectomy for uterine fibroids.

Morcellator lawsuits brought by women suffering from cancer after undergoing a procedure in which a power morcellator was used, allege that manufacturers of power morcellators, including Ethicon, have known about this specific danger for years, but failed to warn women and their physicians in order to protect sales.

In October, 2015, after multiple lawsuits were filed, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JMPL”) granted plaintiffs’ request for creation of a federal MDL in the District of Kansas for lawsuits alleging a link between the use of power morcellators and the spread of cancerous cells.  Specifically, in the October 15th order, the panel appointed Senior Judge Kathryn H. Vratil to oversee the coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. Judge Kathryn H. Vratil is the twenty third judge and the first woman named to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.

Since the MDL was formed, additional cases continue to be filed. Status conferences are scheduled in the Ethicon Morcellator MDL on the following dates: March 30, 2016 at 9:00 am, May 4, 2016 at 9:00 am, and June 1, 2016 at 9:00 am.

For more information about the morcellator cancer lawsuits, feel free to contact Pharmaceutical/Medical Device Litigation Attorney Pamela A. Borgess of Borgess Law, LLC at (567) 455-5955 or toll-free at (844) LAW-9144. You can also contact Borgess Law, LLC by submitting an online inquiry or emailing Attorney Borgess directly at pborgess@BorgessLaw.com.  Borgess Law, LLC never charges a fee for an initial consultation.