In a recent case management order, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil set November 18 as the date for an initial scheduling conference for the newly consolidated power morcellator multidistrict litigation. Centralized late last month in Kansas, the litigation initially included 20 power morcellator lawsuits, 15 of which concerned Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit.
Laparascopic power morcellators are employed in non-invasive surgery to remove masses in the uterus. The device is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen and used to cut up tissue for easy extraction. Many women have chosen to have a power morcellator procedure because of the minimal scarring it causes. However, recent findings by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other organizations show that power morcellators pose a risk of spreading unsuspected cancer throughout the body. According to the FDA, “1 in 350 women undergoing hysterectomy or myomectomy for the treatment of fibroids . . . have an unsuspected uterine sarcoma.” As a result, doctors may be spreading cancer in hundreds of female patients every year.
Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson and the leading manufacturer of power morcellators, is currently under federal investigation for its device, and various politicians and medical experts are demanding that both the device manufacturers and the FDA be held accountable for the injuries that have been caused. Amid all of this, federal power morcellator lawsuits have now been centralized in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kanas.
The number of power morcellator lawsuits included in the MDL is expected to increase over the coming months. If you or someone you know was injured by a laparoscopic power morcellator, you should contact the lawyers at Lopez McHugh for a free consultation and find out whether you qualify to be a part of the new power morcellator MDL.