Six women who have filed power morcellator lawsuits after their uterine cancers were allegedly spread and upstaged by the devices are seeking to have all such federally-filed claims consolidated in a single federal court for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
In a Motion for Transfer filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on June 18th, the plaintiffs point out that at least 22 morcellator cases are already pending in federal courts throughout the country. Their Motion asserts that the current number of filings, coupled with the expectation that numerous additional lawsuits will soon be filed, warrants the creation of a multidistrict litigation.
“Because they share common questions of fact and implicate overlapping discovery and expert and dispositive issues, coordination of these act ions before a single judge will provide the most efficient approach to managing the cases at this time,” the Motion states.
Finally, the plaintiffs ask the JPML to transfer all federally-filed power morcellator lawsuit to the U.S. District Court, District of Kansas, which they assert is a “highly accessible district where one of the actions is currently pending, and where the court has the requisite resources and expertise, including a prior record of managing MDL’s.”
The litigation surrounding morcellators and cancer has been growing since late 2013. Since April 2014, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued two alerts regarding the potential for the devices to disseminate undetected uterine sarcoma and other cancer cells as they shred tissue and fibroids during hysterectomies and myomectomies. The agency’s second alert, which was issued in November 2014, officially warned against the use of uterine morcellation in the vast majority of women who require such procedures.
Morcellator cancer lawsuits are now pending in at least 16 federal jurisdictions, and numerous others have been filed in various state courts. Defendants in these lawsuits include Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon, Inc., unit, Gyrus ACMI, Richard Wolf Medical Instruments Corp., Karl Storz, Lina Medical, and others.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is providing free, no-obligation legal reviews to alleged victims of morcellators and cancer. If you or a woman close to you experienced the spread of uterine cancer following morcellation, please call for a free review of your potential power morcellator lawsuit.