The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had released statements about the use of power morcellators in uterine surgery, and although there may not be many suits that have been filed against the manufacturers of power morcellators, it seems as though the damages inflicted on patients have the potential to be quite large.
The people who have been injured are usually 40-60 years of age and were victims of undiagnosed uterine cancer. Often, their course of treatment entailed surgery. Some of them had a surgical removal of fibroids and others had hysterectomies to fully remove their uteruses. And here is the scariest part: when power morcellators were used during these surgical procedures, they diffused – or spread — cancerous cells throughout the abdomen and pelvis regions of these patients. Not only did the chance of spreading cancer increase, but also the chances of living a long and healthy life after surgery decreased. Some women lost their lives due to this product, leaving behind families. Others had their quality of life so compromised that the chance of working and earning wages all but disappeared.
After the FDA made its initial statement in April of 2014, the filing of suits against the companies who produced and manufactured these power morcellators began. Johnson & Johnson was one of the largest manufacturing companies of the power morcellators. They are now being investigated by the FBI to see exactly how much they knew about these risks of literally spreading cancer throughout a patient’s body by use of their power morcellators, which they have now officially taken off of the market. Out of the 21 total suits that have been filed against the manufacturers of this product, 16 have been filed against Johnson & Johnson directly.
These suits have been bringing to light two major issues. The first is the actual product itself, the power morcellator. The power morcellators are appealing to use during hysterectomies or the removal of fibroids because they allow for a smaller incision and a less painful surgery. But, without knowing whether or not a woman has uterine sarcoma, which is a cancer that roughly 1 in 350 women have who also have uterine fibroids, the power morcellators can spread these cancerous cells throughout the woman’s pelvis and abdomen. The second issue that the suits have brought up is medical malpractice claims against doctors and hospitals that have used power morcellators on patients. These suits will certainly bring to light the severe damages caused to patients by these products.
The Philadelphia products liability lawyers at Galfand Berger have successfully represented clients who have been injured by faulty or malfunctioning products. If you or any of your loved ones have experienced such a situation, an attorney at Galfand Berger, LLP can help. With offices located in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.