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When To File A Morcellator Lawsuit

Any new medical tool invention is a good one…right? Wrong! Power morcellators, invented in 1993, make some types of surgeries easier. But their disadvantages may outweigh their advantages. In the past decade, many patients have filed morcellator lawsuits against manufacturers. Why are there so many lawsuits? And why are some surgeons still using morcellators today? Read on to discover why filing a morcellator lawsuit may be a necessary step.  

Were you or a loved one diagnosed with cancer after power morcellator surgery? Consider filing a morcellator lawsuit. Power morcellator lawsuit settlements have provided hundreds of patients with much-need compensation. Click here to consult a medical malpractice lawyer about your case.

Woman experiences pain after power morcellator surgery.

What Is A Power Morcellator & Why Are Patients Filing Morcellator Lawsuits?

A power morcellator is a device that cuts tissue into small pieces. That way, surgeons can extract it during laparoscopic surgery. Doctors have used them to remove:

  • Gallbladder
  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Spleen 
  • Uterus (hysterectomy)
  • Uterine fibroids (non-cancerous growths in a woman’s uterus). The name for this surgery is myomectomy.

A laparoscopic surgery is a less invasive type of operation. The surgeon makes a very small incision in the navel or abdomen, with the help of a camera. It’s associated with a faster recovery time than traditional abdominal incision surgery. It carries less risk of infection as well. 

Doctors have used power morcellators to make hysterectomies and myomectomies faster and easier. But a major disadvantage came to the surface. In some women, the non-cancerous growths turned out to be cancerous. When that was the case, the morcellators spread the cancer around! This made the womens’ cancer worse (known as upstaging) It made recovery almost impossible. 

In some cases, women who had surgery with morcellators have passed away. Their families have filed morcellator lawsuits against the device’s manufacturers. Most morcellator lawsuits have involved Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon. This company has had to fork over thousands of dollars in power morcellator lawsuit settlements. 

Dr. Amy Reed’s Story: A Pioneer Morcellator Lawsuit

Dr. Amy Reed was one of the first patients to file a morcellator lawsuit against a manufacturer. The mother of six underwent a hysterectomy in 2013. Shortly after, her doctor called to say she had an aggressive type of cancer called leiomyosarcoma. 

The morcellator hadn’t caused Reed’s cancer. But it had dispersed it around and made it much worse. So much worse, that Reed had to have her ovaries removed. She also had four more operations to remove new tumors. Reed succumbed to cancer in 2017. 

Her husband, Hooman Noorchashm, spoke out to the media after losing his wife. A doctor himself, he accused his wife’s doctors of creating a “man-made Stage 4 cancer.” 

“If the sarcoma had been taken out whole, her five-year survival rate would have been 50 percent,” he told Boston Magazine. “With the cancer morcellated, it was between zero and 20 percent.”

Amy Reed and her husband had to put up a major fight against Karl Storz, the manufacturer of the morcellator. The company refused to admit any wrongdoing. It filed a motion to dismiss Reed’s claims. It even threatened to take legal action to stop the pair from making allegations against them. 

But Reed and Noorchashm didn’t drop their morcellator lawsuit. They also submitted an adverse event report to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Thanks to their battle, many women came forward and filed morcellator lawsuits. Johnson & Johnson took its morcellators off the market. The FDA issued a serious warning about the device.  

The FDA “continues to recommend use of laparoscopic power morcellation only in appropriate women.” It also recommends that surgeons perform only contained morcellation. This method can help keep any cancerous cells present from spreading. 

Woman in hospital because of cancer.

Should I File A Morcellator Lawsuit?

Unfortunately, morcellators are still in use today, albeit much less than before. Why is this happening? Simply put, some surgeons don’t agree that it carries so much risk. They say that the chances of uterine tumors being cancerous is 1 in 10,000. 

But for women suffering from fibroids serious enough to prompt surgery, the odds are greater. That’s a risk most women don’t want to take. 

Past morcellator lawsuits have alleged that device manufacturers should know that the risk is great. Studies exist from as early as the 1990s that show that morcellators can spread cancer. Also, manufacturers know that uterine cancer is difficult to detect. But perhaps some manufacturers haven’t been honest about what they know. This dishonesty has helped victims win their morcellator lawsuits. 

Were you diagnosed with cancer after a surgery involving morcellator use? Contact an experienced medical malpractice firm right away. You may be entitled to a power morcellator lawsuit settlement. Schedule a free consultation with Hampton & King here