Power Morcellator Wrongful Death
Written by Faith Anderson on December 16, 2014
Power Morcellation Lawsuit Filed Over Uterine Cancer Death
Victims of disseminated uterine cancer following hysterectomy surgery with power morcellation may be entitled to financial compensation.
The family of a Missouri woman who recently died from cancer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit, alleging that the company’s power morcellation surgical device caused her cancer to be disseminated during a robotic hysterectomy. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri on December 3, following the death of Carl Cecilia Merrill due to the spread of a type of malignant cancer called leiomyosarcoma. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with uterine cancer following a hysterectomy or myomectomy procedure with power morcellation, contact a knowledgeable power morcellator cancer lawyer today for legal help.
Plaintiff’s Undiagnosed Cancer Spread Throughout Body
According to the power morcellation wrongful death suit, Carl Cecilia Merrill underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy and uterine fibroid removal surgery in December 2012, during which doctors used an Ethicon Gynecare morcellator device to remove the uterus and fibroids through a small incision in the abdomen. In the complaint, Merrill’s family states that the power morcellator allegedly caused her undiagnosed uterine cancer to be disseminated throughout her peritoneal cavity, rapidly upstaging the cancer from its earliest – and most treatable – stage to its most deadly stage.
Lawsuits Over Cancer from Power Morcellation
This latest power morcellation lawsuit was brought by Merrill’s life partner, Terry Shafer, and alleges that Ethicon knew or should have known about the potential for undetected uterine cancer to be spread throughout the body with the use of power morcellators, but failed to provide consumers and medical professionals with adequate warnings about this risk. Shafer’s complaint joins a growing number of power morcellation lawsuits brought on behalf of patients across the country who have been diagnosed with disseminated uterine cancer following laparoscopic surgery.
One in 350 Women May Have Undiagnosed Cancer
Serious concerns about the potential for power morcellators to disseminate uterine cancer have been raised in the past year, and according to a recent FDA estimate, approximately one in 350 women undergoing a hysterectomy or uterine fibroid removal surgery may have unsuspected sarcoma, which could be spread throughout their bodies by power morcellation. Because there is no way for doctors to detect the uterine cancer prior to surgery, the FDA in April 2014, urged doctors to avoid using power morcellators for laparoscopic hysterectomy or uterine fibroid removal surgeries.
Contact a Power Morcellation Attorney Today
In light of the risk of power morcellators causing cancer cells to spread throughout the body during surgery, all Ethicon devices were recalled earlier this year by the manufacturer, which acknowledged at that time that the products pose an unreasonable risk of disseminating uterine cancer. In November 24, the FDA announced that it would be adding a black box warning to the power morcellator devices that remain on the market, warning consumers and the medical community about the risks associated with the surgical products. If you believe you have been harmed by side effects of power morcellation, our consumer advocates can help put you in touch with a product liability lawyer who has experience handling power morcellator cancer claims.