Plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits alleging injuries caused by power morcellators have submitted a motion requesting that their cases be centralized before one judge as part of a single pre-trial discovery litigation process. The plaintiffs have requested that their cases be transferred to U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil in Kansas, where they would join at least 22 similar lawsuits from 16 different federal district courts in a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
MDLs are established when several cases filed in multiple districts are considered similar enough that a decision is made to consolidate them before one judge. A shared discovery process typically eliminates duplication and results in a more efficient expedition of the cases.
Power Morcellator Alleged to Spread Deadly Cancer
The legal claims center around the laparoscopic power morcellator, a device that was designed to facilitate minimally invasive surgery to remove uterine fibroids or to be used during hysterectomies. The morcellator works by chopping up the tissue to be removed into tiny pieces so that it can pass through a small incision, allowing for less bleeding and faster healing time.
The morcellator lawsuits charge that the devices can spread malignant cells from undiagnosed uterine cancer throughout the uterus and abdomen of patients undergoing the surgery, causing it to quickly advance to its most deadly and difficult to treat stage.
FDA Warnings About Morcellation
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about the risk of cancer spread associated with morcellation, the devices have not been removed from the market, although recommendations were made regarding screening out patients for whom morcellation might present accelerated risks, such as women over 50 or those at risk for uterine cancer. The FDA also requires that women be warned about the risks associated with the use of power morcellators before undergoing surgery, allowing them to give their informed consent to the procedure.
If you or a loved one has suffered from cancer spread by a power morcellator during surgery, you need to make sure you know your options. You may be entitled to compensation from the company that manufactured the device that caused this horrible ordeal.
Contact the attorneys at Childers, Schlueter & Smith today. Consultations are free and without obligation.