February 11, 2015 — Ethicon, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has been hit with a lawsuit on behalf of a woman who died of cancer after she was treated with a Gynecare Morcellex morcellator.
The lawsuits was filed in federal court in South Carolina by the husband of Cynthia Ostrander, a woman who died in September 2014 of leiomyosarcoma, a highly-aggressive form of uterine cancer.
The Gynecare Morcellex was used during her hysterectomy in October 2012. The surgical tool was used to cut up and remove three large fibroids. Before this surgery, she had no idea that her fibroids contained cancerous cells.
According to the lawsuit (PDF):
“The device, in cutting and shredding the uterine fibroid, ruptured the capsule containing the cancerous tissue and spread the shredded tissue in Ms. Ostrander’s abdominal cavity.”
Had the Morcellex not been used in her hysterectomy, the cancerous cells would have remained encapsulated inside the fibroid. Instead, the morcellator upstaged her cancer and it spread throughout her body. Despite aggressive chemotherapy, she died in less than two years.
Ethicon is accused of failing to warn doctors about the risk of disseminating cancer, or provide a closed system that would prevent cancerous cells from spreading.
Soon after Ostrander died, the FDA added a “Black Box” warning against the use of power morcellators for the treatment of fibroids in menopausal or post-menopausal woman. Ethicon allegedly knew about the risk as early as 2006, but was negligent in failing to take appropriate action.
Do I have a Morcellator Cancer Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting morcellator induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Medical Device Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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