Hysterectomy Surgical Device Cancer Lawsuits Moving Forward in Court System

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted December 28, 2015


Over the past year, a growing number of product liability lawsuits have been filed by women throughout the U.S., alleging that a hysterectomy surgical device used during laparoscopic procedures, known as a power morcellator, caused the spread of leiomyosarcoma, endometrial stromal sarcoma or other hidden uterine cancers.

Power morcellators were widely used over the past decade during minimally invasive, laparoscopic hystectomies and myomectomies for removal of uterine fibroids, allowing surgeons to cut up and remove the tissue through a small incision in the abdomen. However, for women with undiagnosed and unsuspected cancer contained within their uterus, these devices pose a serious and potentially life-threatening risk.

While the hysterectomy surgical device is designed to reduce scarring and the risk of complications, morcellators have been largely abandoned by the medical community due to the risk that they may cause otherwise contained cancer tissue to be spread throughout the abdomen. This may rapidly disseminate these aggressive cancers to an advanced stage that is very difficult to treat.

While cases continue to move forward through the court system, the hysterectomy cancer lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are continuing to review potential cases for families throughout the U.S., providing free consultations and claim evaluations.

Status Update on Morcellator Cancer Litigation

As more and more families learn about the link between uterine cancer and morcellators, dozens of hysterectomy surgical device cancer lawsuits have already been filed against the manufacturers, and it is ultimately expected that several hundred cases will be brought nationwide.

Each of the claims involve allegations that women were diagnosed with uterine cancer following a hysterectomy or fibroid removal surgery where a morcellator was used, indicating that the manufacturers sold an unreasonably dangerous tool without disclosing the risks to women or the medical community.

Most of the morcellator lawsuits filed so far have involved surgical devices manufactured and sold by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon subsidiary, which was the most common manufacturer until they announced last year that they would no longer sell the devices.

Given the growing number of lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system involving Ethicon morcellators, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation established consolidated proceedings for the cases in October 2014, centralizing the litigation before U.S. District Judge Kathyryn H. Vratil in the District of Kansas to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.

As part of the coordinated pretrial litigation, Judge Vratil has recently outlined the discovery process in the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL). Common fact discovery, case-specific written discovery and non-expert witness discovery will be completed by January 31, 2017.

If morcellation cancer settlements are not reached in the cases, expert discovery in the federal litigation will be completed in early 2017, meaning that the first cases are not likely to go before a jury until at least late 2017 or early 2018.

Obtain a Free Hysterectomy Morcellation Case Evaluation

To review whether you or your family may be entitled to pursue an injury case or wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturers of this unreasonably dangerous hysterectomy surgical device, contact the lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. for a free consultation.

All cases are handled under a contingency fee agreement, which means that there are no out-of-pocket expenses to hire a lawyer to investigate your case, and we receive no attorney fees or reimbursed expenses unless a recovery is obtained for you and your family.

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