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Lawyers Ask Judges to Centralize Morcellator Lawsuits in MDL

Lawyers Ask Judges to Centralize Morcellator Lawsuits in MDL

June 26, 2015 — Lawyers for six women who were diagnosed with cancer after being treated with a morcellator have asked federal judges to centralize nearly two dozen lawsuits into one federal court.

Reuters reports that attorneys want to transfer 22 lawsuits pending in 16 different federal courts into one court, under one judge.

The proposed Multi-District Litigation (In Re: Power Morcellator Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2652) would be centralized in federal court in Kansas under U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil.

The FDA has already warned against using power morcellators in the “vast majority” of women. Major manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson have pulled their products off the market, but morcellators have not been banned and they continue to be used by some doctors.

The problem is that many women who think they have fibroids actually have undiagnosed uterine cancer. When the spinning blades of a morcellator grind up tissue, they can disseminate cancerous cells throughout the woman’s abdomen, greatly worsening her prognosis when the cancerous cells begin to grow.

Meanwhile, new lawsuits continue to be filed. On the same day lawyers requested the MDL, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of a woman who died from uterine sarcoma. The lawsuit was filed in Massachusetts (Case No. 15-1829) against the hospital where the procedure was performed and the manufacturer of the morcellator.

According to one attorney representing the plaintiff:

“It is notable that this case was filed on the same day that a number of federal morcellator lawsuit plaintiffs filed a motion seeking the consolidation of those cases in a single federal court. The federal lawsuits put forth many of the same allegations made in this complaint, including those involving the adequacy of the risk information provided to women before they made the decision to undergo uterine morcellation.”

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