Once considered a “non-invasive” option in fibroid removal procedures, power morcellators have been found to spread undetected cancer cells. Shockingly, the devices are still in use in many hospitals, despite strongly-worded warnings from the US Food & Drug Administration and considerable pressure from patient rights groups.
But for many families, the dangers of power morcellation have already become a tragic reality. Women across the country have woken from anesthesia to learn that a cancer they were unaware of is now spreading rapidly. With the future uncertain, patients and their loved ones have begun to file lawsuits.
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Can A Morcellator Attorney Help My Family?
Experienced power morcellator lawyers have proved an invaluable resource for many of these patients and their families. Joined by surviving widowers, dozens of cancer patients have already filed lawsuits. They seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages, burdens that can quickly become out of control.
Now, lawyers are prepared to fight for your rights. We understand that the prospect of filing a lawsuit can be daunting, but by offering only free consultations, we allow you to explore your legal options with no risk. Even better, some morcellator attorneys charge no up-front costs. Instead, they work on a contingency-fee basis, and clients owe nothing until a court award or settlement is won in their favor.
Filing a lawsuit is a major decision, but we think justice and fair compensation should be your priorities. That’s why we’ve made them our priorities, too.
How Should I Choose A Lawyer?
In selecting a lawyer, we believe experience should be your guide. Look for a law firm that can provide clients with a well-qualified legal team, dedicated to protecting your best interests now that it counts more than ever.
Beyond years of experience, make sure that your attorney has experience in these types of lawsuits. Have they brought cases involving medical devices to court? If so, how did they fare in the trial? The law is complex, and success in one practice area won’t necessarily translate to success in another.
Personally speak with every attorney you’re considering. Do they seem caring and attentive? Are they interested in your case? These are valuable qualities in a lawyer. This is an extremely important choice, and you’ll want someone who will communicate clearly and truly empathizes with your situation. Ask for referrals, too. See if there are any past clients you can talk to about their experiences.
Can I File A Lawsuit?
Women who underwent supposedly “routine” morcellation procedures, only too discover afterwards that the device had spread an undetected uterine cancer, may be able to file a lawsuit. Tragically, many of the existing lawsuits have been filed by widowers who survive their loved ones. Survivors may be entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the device’s manufacturer.
Dozens of morcellator lawsuits have already been filed. In their claims, women and widowers alike seek accountability, from a medical device industry they say withheld their very right to live in the name of profit. They seek ongoing support for their loved ones, families forced to watch helplessly as a cancer that could have been treated grew more aggressive by the day.
Those are the goals of experienced morcellator lawyers, too. A devoted personal injury attorney has only one aim: securing the maximum compensation possible for their clients.
Why Are People Filing Suits?
Where cancer is concerned, every medical decision could be a matter of life and death. But in a wave of new lawsuits, patients and surviving widowers say powerful companies have been playing a game with women’s lives.
Power morcellators are commonly used in surgical procedures, like hysterectomy, to remove uterine fibroids. With the morcellator’s spinning blade, surgeons are able to grind up the supposedly benign fibroid tissue for simple, low-risk removal. That was the advertising campaign, at least.
Because Morcellators Spread Cancer
While most fibroids are benign, some actually harbor malignant cancer cells. Hit by the morcellator, these cancerous tissues can be scattered throughout a patient’s pelvis and abdomen, effectively forcing the cancer to metastasize, to spread and worsen.
Unfortunately, truly benign fibroids are almost indistinguishable from ones that harbor cancer. In fact, the only way to know for sure is after the tissue is removed, and after the morcellator has already done its damage.
Manufacturers May Have Ignored Decades Of Evidence
That’s a clear and potentially-devastating danger, a risk that the medical community has understood well for years. But it was a risk most medical professionals were willing to take, because they thought it was very low. According to the women who have already filed morcellator lawsuits, the device manufacturers repeatedly said that around 1 out of every 10,000 women could be harboring an undetected uterine cancer. Compared to how many women could benefit from a non-invasive treatment option, that risk probably seemed negligible.
It was also false. The FDA now believes that as many as 1 out of every 350 women who undergoes the procedure is harboring an undetected uterine sarcoma, a cancer of the soft tissues. That’s a risk few doctors would chance, and the FDA even “warn[ed] against the use of laparoscopic power morcellators in the majority of women.”
As it turns out, numerous studies have looked into the risk and found results far higher than the “1 in 10,000” quoted by the companies behind this dangerous device. In fact, the research goes back to 1999, when a group of Japanese gynecologists estimated that 1 in 231 women would suffer a worsening of their undiagnosed uterine cancer. But those results, and more like them, never reached surgeons on the ground.
Plaintiffs say patients and medical professionals across the nation were deceived by powerful medical device manufacturers, companies who concealed mounting evidence of the morcellator’s heightened risks for more than two decades.
You can learn more about the morcellator controversy here.
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How Can Filing A Lawsuit Help?
Cancer, one of the world’s most aggressive killers, is also one of the most expensive conditions to combat. In 2015, US cancer patients will be burdened by $157 billion in health care costs, according to WebMD. No wonder 1 out of every 3 cancer patients will worry about bankruptcy during their treatments.
Filing a lawsuit won’t bring back the months or years of agony and emotional trauma you or your loved one have lost, but securing fair compensation can go some way to build a foundation for your family’s brighter future.
Many patients have also sought “equitable relief” in their morcellator lawsuits, asking the courts to force device manufacturers to own up to their alleged wrongdoing and save the lives of future patients.
December 14, 2015 – Claims Against Johnson & Johnson Centralized In Kansas
Dozens of morcellator lawsuits filed against the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon have been consolidated in the US District Court of Kansas. A common move when multiple legal claims make similar allegations, consolidation will allow diverse Plaintiffs the opportunity to work together on their cases prior to trial.
As part of a “Multi-District Litigation,” or MDL, the lawsuits will go through discovery, the evidence-gathering stage, in tandem. After that, the cases can be “remanded,” sent back to the original courts in which they were filed, or settled in Kansas.
The Honorable Kathryn H. Vratil, a Senior District Judge, has been appointed to preside over the MDL.
The latest count, released by the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation on November 16, puts the number of morcellator lawsuits consolidated in Kansas at 27. Members of the legal community believe that many new lawsuits will be filed against Johnson & Johnson in the coming months. It’s likely that any forthcoming claims will be centralized in Kansas as well.