Female Cancer Patients Sue Morcellator Manufacturers

             Female Cancer Patients Sue Morcellator Manufacturers

PR Newswire

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 2, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --The first Federal lawsuit has
been filed against the morcellator manufacturer LiNA Medical by the family of
Donna Burkhart from Reading, Pennsylvania. The family is represented by Dr.
Francois Blaudeau, a prominent national surgeon and attorney of counsel with
Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC. The case filed on March 14, 2014, alleges that
the Morcellator Medical Device Manufacturer LiNA Medical failed to adequately
warn surgeons regarding the risk of disseminated cancer following the use of
their morcellator; failed to design a safer "closed" system that would prevent
the spread of cancer cells, and failed to act when scientific studies revealed
that disseminating cancer was occurring. Mrs. Burkhart surgery was in March
2012 and a power morcellator was used in the surgery. Mrs. Burkhart had not
been warned about the risks of seeding her abdominal cavity from an
undiagnosed sarcoma cancer. Mrs. Burkhart died less than a year later in
February 2013.

Lawyers from several prominent national medical device plaintiff law firms
including Heninger Garrison Davis and Alonso Krangle, representing multiple
women and families are filing lawsuits across the country against a group of
medical device manufacturers who manufacture and sell uterine morcellators to
hospitals for use by minimally invasive gynecologists. These morcellator
devices are used to remove solid uterine tumors called fibroids by literally
chewing them up through a thin, narrow tube. The FDA recently warned surgeons
and hospitals regarding the use of these devices due to the possibility that
they could spread cancer cells throughout the abdominal cavity changing the
stage and prognosis of Leiomyosarcoma, a rare type of uterine cancer. 

Additional lawsuits are being filed in several states alleging negligence,
strict product liability, breach of express warranty, breach of implied
warranty, and fraudulent misrepresentation and omission. Attorney Andy Alonso
with the firm of Alonso Krangle in New York, along with Dr. Blaudeau, has
filed a lawsuit on behalf of patient Brenda Leuzzi against Ethicon Endo
Surgery, Inc., the leading manufacturer of disposable morcellators and looks
forward to reviewing documents from the manufacturers to gain more insight on
how this issue was ignored. Mrs. Leuzzi is undergoing advanced chemotherapy
and radiation therapy her long-term prognosis is poor. Early investigations
into the actions of Ethicon Endo Surgery indicate that there was knowledge of
this issue relating to dissemination of cancer and that potential safety
solutions including the deployment of a ballistic reinforced bag to avoid
spillage of unsuspected cancer cells were available to the company but were
not provided as part of the product sold to hospitals. Alonso notes that
"Ethicon Endo Surgery's Morcellexdevice was the leading device sold in the
United States; and that as an industry leader Ethicon Endo Surgery had a
special responsibility to lead in regard to provide safe morcellator use for
all patients."

"There is mounting evidence that much, much more should have been done to
prevent these rare, but devastating, events of dissemination of cancer related
to the use of the morcellator manufactured by these companies," says Dr.
Blaudeau. Better screening of patients to avoid altogether using the
morcellator in cases where large tumors with a higher risk of malignancy are
encountered and the use of a reinforced intra-peritoneal bag every time a
morcellator is used makes much more sense than what has been
transpiring."Minimally invasive surgery has tremendous benefits for patients
all over the World, but safety for all patients is required and the failure of
these morcellator manufacturers to deploy safety mechanisms as simple as the
inclusion of a reinforced plastic bag is just not understandable," remarks Dr.
Blaudeau. Many surgeons were not aware of the existence of special
intra-peritoneal bags specifically designed for use with the morcellator and
were unaware of how many patients were being negatively affected. "There is a
justifiable sense of outrage on behalf of injured and dying patients and their
families due to failure to address what were known complications of
morcellator use that could have prevented. Its impossible to truly understand
what these patients and their families have had to endure following the spread
of cancer cells from an morcellator procedure performed without the proper use
of an intraperitoneal bag," says Dr. Blaudeau.

Attorney Lew Garrison who has been involved in all of the major medical device
litigations over the past twenty-five years commends the FDA for acting: "We
are glad that the FDA has stepped in to evaluate morcellator use and that some
of the manufacturers have now elected to stop selling their morcellators until
the FDA evaluation is complete." Garrison notes that "as the litigation
progresses we expect to perform a systematic and thorough investigation with
our co-counsel team across the country regarding what these manufacturers
knew, when they knew it, and what they did about it. We will leave no stone
unturned in representing these injured patients and their families."

Heninger Garrison Davis is headquartered in Birmingham with offices in
Atlanta, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C. and focuses on
Business Litigation, Class Actions and Mass Torts, Intellectual Property and
Personal Injury. Please visit http://hgdlawfirm.com to learn more about the
firm.

Contact:
Kristi Ozley
kozley@hgdlawfirm.com
Heninger Garrison Davis
2224 1st Avenue North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
(205) 326-3336
Toll Free: 1-800-241-9779

SOURCE Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC

Website: http://www.hgdlawfirm.com
 
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