A Massachusetts morcellator cancer lawsuit may be an option for patients diagnosed with certain types of cancer after a power morcellator procedure. Laparoscopic power morcellators are primarily used to divide and remove non-cancerous tissue during minimally invasive hysterectomies. However, some women in the United States who have had uterine fibroids removed by power morcellators have later discovered that the process may have spread uterine cancer cells. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation for damages with the help of a Massachusetts Morcellator Cancer lawsuit attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Massachusetts today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated Massachusetts Morcellator Cancer lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Fibroid Removal Methods
OBG Management states that while many of the uterine tumors known as fibroids do not cause any symptoms, some women are adversely affected and must have them removed. Hysterectomies and myomectomies are common operations that doctors use for this purpose, and performing these laparoscopically is often recommended because of the benefits of smaller incisions. However, the size of the fibroid may make it impossible for a doctor to remove it whole through the small incisions, and in these cases, the mass must be divided.
While a scalpel or other manual instrument may be used to cut the fibroid into smaller pieces for removal, doctors may also use a medical device known as a power morcellator, which minces the tissues rapidly. However, this has the potential to disseminate the cells, since the mass is not generally in an enclosed state as it is chopped up.
A review of the tissue analyses occurring after the surgeries has led researchers to estimate that up to 13 percent of the tumors are, in fact, leiomyosarcomas, which are an aggressive form of cancer. Women over the age of 40 have a higher risk of these cancerous uterine tumors. Unfortunately, current technology does not consistently identify the presence of these cancers until after they have been removed.
If the suspected fibroid is actually an undiagnosed leiomyosarcoma, aggressive cancer tissues that escape removal after morcellation may be spread into the surrounding areas. Research indicates that this lowers survival rates of women with uterine cancer significantly. A morcellated leiomyosarcoma is associated with a 46 percent survival rate after five years, researchers say, while the recovery outlook for those who have the tumors removed without these devices is 73 percent.
The increased risk of death has been noted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a result, the FDA has issued a new safety warning about the use of the devices, and this information must now be provided to doctors and patients. Women are encouraged to consider other options unless the potential benefits of the laparoscopic procedure and fibroid division outweigh the risks. Those who have already undergone procedures should continue to schedule routine exams, even if tests have revealed no evidence of cancerous tissues.
Massachusetts Morcellator Cancer Lawsuits
There are around 100 cases currently filed against one manufacturer of power morcellators. This company, Ethicon, is a division of Johnson & Johnson, and it has agreed to settlements for many of the plaintiffs already. The lawsuits include claims that the company failed to warn of the dangers the devices pose, and there have been wrongful death lawsuits filed by family members of those who did not survive the leiomyosarcomas as well.
The similarities between the cases and the number of lawsuits have led the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) to consider combining the litigation so that it can be tried before a single federal district judge. Women in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the United States who have already filed lawsuits may benefit from MDL because discovery involves shared evidence among the plaintiffs. The consolidation sends the cases through the court system much more quickly.
How a Massachusetts Morcellator Cancer Lawsuit Can Help
Medical device makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a device maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
People injured by defective medical devices may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The families of those who have died may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.
The Time You Have to File a Claim is Limited. Contact Us Today.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Massachusetts. You can fill out the form on this page or contact us by phone or email.
After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.