- Multidistrict Litigation for Power Morcellator Lawsuits
- July 28, 2015
- Law Firm: Waters Kraus LLP - Dallas Office
- Around the country, many women have been injured by power morcellators. These are medical devices that can spread undetected uterine cancers throughout the body during surgical procedures such as hysterectomies and myomectomies, in which fibroid uterine tumors are removed. Many lawsuits have already been filed, some in state court and others in federal court. A motion has been filed to transfer all power morcellator lawsuits filed in the federal court system to U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil in Kansas, who would decide issues that all the cases have in common.
Motion to Transfer Federal Power Morcellator Lawsuits to Kansas
To date, 22 power morcellator lawsuits reportedly have been filed in 16 courts throughout the federal system. Over time, it is likely that the number of cases filed will increase. Consolidation in a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) often helps people to have their cases resolved more quickly. This is because one judge makes all the decisions about the issues the cases share in common. The process saves time and money for the people injured, the courts, and the witnesses.
Each power morcellator lawsuit now pending claims that that power morcellator manufacturers hid evidence that their surgical power tools could spread undetected cancers throughout the body. The morcellator makers, the lawsuits claim, marketed their dangerous medical devices without sufficient warnings.
An MDL judge would oversee all the lawsuits as the lawyers gather evidence related to these common issues and handle any disputes that arise. The court would also make legal rulings related to these issues.
Two public warnings have already been made by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) concerning the risk that morcellators can spread cells from undetected cancers, making the cancer worse and more difficult to treat. The November 2014 warning forcefully urged that morcellators should not be used in the majority of hysterectomies or myomectomies. The FDA also mandated that morcellator manufacturers must place a new “black box” warning on product labels concerning the dangers involved.