New Morcellator Lawsuit Filed Alleging Cancer Connection

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Thursday, March 5, 2015 - A new morcellator lawsuit has recently been filed in Michigan, according to attorneys handling morcellator surgery claims. The plaintiff alleges that she developed advanced-stage bone and breast cancer "as a direct and proximate result of the defective and unreasonably dangerous surgical instrument, the Rotocut G1 power morcellator", according to court documents, and has demanded a jury trial.

In this case, a power morcellator device was used to treat the plaintiff‘s uterine fibroids, according to court documents. Power morcellators are used for a range of laparoscopic surgeries, removing internal tissue by shredding and mincing it, then removing it through miniature incisions, according to court documents.

This morcellator lawsuit alleges that the medical device maker promoted the device as a safe means to treat uterine fibroids, though the company should have known of the potential to spread cancer, according to court documents. The lawsuit cites an FDA warning from November 2014 which warned that using a power morcellator in women with undetected uterine cancer poses a danger of spreading the cancer through the abdomen and pelvic, "significantly worsening the patient‘s long term survival", according to court documents.

The plaintiff in the Michigan lawsuit alleges that her diagnosis of Stage 4, metastasized bone and breast cancer can be traced to her power morcellator surgery, from which she alleges cancerous tissue was spread throughout her body, according to court documents. Furthermore the lawsuit alleges that safe alternatives to power morcellator surgery were available that would not have caused the spreading of cancer according to court documents. She says she would not have chosen to have morcellator surgery to remove her uterine fibroids had she been made aware of the risk of having cancer cells spread and the disease advanced, according to court documents.

The claims and allegations in this morcellator lawsuit echo other cancer claims made in similar litigation around the country.

Two U.S. Senators have added their voices to the group warning of the dangers associated with power morcellator surgery. In an August 19 letter to the FDA*, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer urged federal regulators to take steps to protect American patients from the risk of spreading cancer through gynecologic morcellator surgery. Attorneys handling morcellator lawsuits for cancer offer frequent morcellator lawsuit news and comprehensive morcellator claims information at the Morcellator Cancer Lawsuit Center website.

Citing new research from Columbia University‘s College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Senators cautioned that a rare form of uterine cancer is far more common in patients having morcellator surgery than previously believed. The letter also refers to research from Brigham & Women‘s Hospital in Boston, which revealed that the risk of spreading and advancing cancer through morcellation is nine times higher than surgeons had believed. Overall, the letter states, the practice of power morcellator surgery for hysterectomy and other surgeries to remove uterine fibroids is far riskier than researchers or surgeons knew.

The FDA took an initial step to caution against the use of power morcellators due to the risk of spreading cancer on April 17, 2014, according to the letter. This initial FDA safety communication suggested a panel should be convened to further assess the danger of spreading cancer by morcellator. Shortly after the FDA‘s safety communication, Johnson & Johnson‘s Ethicon division pulled power morcellators from the market, according to the letter. The Senators urge other morcellator manufacturers to issue similar recalls until more research is conducted on the risk of cancer advancement.

Persons who were diagnosed with advanced stage cancer following a hysterectomy or other uterine surgery utilizing a power morcellator device may be eligible for real compensation, according to attorneys handling morcellator lawsuit claims. One such morcellator lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in California‘s Northern District on May 13, 2014 will move forward late this month. The plaintiffs, Sarah Salem-Robinson and her husband Alan A. Robinson, are suing Richard Wolf Medical Instruments Corporation, the company that manufactures the power morcellator used in the plaintiff‘s hysterectomy procedure, according to court documents. Ms. Salem-Robinson was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, or uterine cancer just two weeks after the procedure, on May 30, 2012. A Case Management Conference on September 26, 2014 at 10:00 a.m., according to court documents.

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