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Birmingham, AL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/15/2015 --The attorneys at Southern Med Law have settled the first federally filed morcellator cancer lawsuit against LiNA Medical APS. Kebomed AG & LiNA Medical US, the makers of power morcellators. The lawsuit was filed in March 2014 in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania by Southern Med Law on behalf of Scott Burkhart, a Pennsylvania widower whose wife died of disseminated leiomyosarcoma in February 2013, which she developed after undergoing a power morcellator hysterectomy. The terms of the settlement are not being disclosed at the moment, but could prove positive for other power morcellator lawsuits that may be consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Kansas. Scott Burkart stated in this lawsuit that there was no evidence of disseminated cancer in his 53-year-old wife, Donna Burkhart, prior to having a robot-assisted hysterectomy in March 6, 2012. She was diagnosed with the aggressive uterine cancer just 9 days after having surgery. (No. 5:14-cv-1557)
Southern Med Law's Founder, Dr. François Blaudeau, an attorney and obstetrician-gynecologist who is representing the Burkart family, said power morcellators are used in about 10 percent of the 600,000 hysterectomies that are performed in the U.S. annually. Power morcellators shred uterine tissue into small pieces so that the fragments can be removed through small incisions in the abdomen. The undetected cancer cells spread into the peritoneal cavity as the uterine tissue is being removed. Power morcellators are used more commonly in less invasive laparoscopic procedures, which require a much smaller abdominal incision than traditional open-surgery hysterectomies.
Dr. Blaudeau and Southern Med Law are currently representing numerous women in morcellator lawsuits and urge women who have been diagnosed with uterine cancer following a hysterectomy using power morcellation to contact the firm. The firm offers free legal evaluations and you can speak with Dr. Blaudeau or one of his associated by calling 205-515-6166 or 205-547-5525. You can also visit www.southernmedlaw.com for all of the current news on morcellator cancer lawsuits and other medical litigation.
Power Morcellator News
In the wake of the filing of power morcellator lawsuits and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) warning against using the surgical devices because of the cancer risk, some insurance carriers are forgoing coverage of this procedure. In September, Highmark Inc., one of the largest Blue CrossBlue Shield plans in the country, was the first health care insurer to announce that it would stop power morcellation in gynecological procedures. The health insurer stopped coverage in its service area of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware. Aetna, the nation's third largest insurer, announced in May that it will no longer cover morcellation "in most circumstances because the safety and efficacy of this approach has not been demonstrated." Aetna now requires doctors to "precertify" a myomectomy (removal of fibroids) or hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) and is encouraging doctors to talk to their patients about the risks and benefits of uterine morcellation and its alternatives.
In addition to the FDA warning and drop in insurance coverage, the FBI announced the launch of an investigation into power morcellators where the bureau's probe includes the largest morcellator manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon unit, which stop selling its morcellators after the FDA's warning in April 2014. The FBI will examine what Johnson & Johnson knew about the cancer risk before the company took its morcellators off the global market.
Morcellator Cancer Lawsuits
According to court records there are currently 22 power morcellator lawsuits pending against Ethicon Inc. in 16 different federal courts nationwide. The 22 plaintiffs recently filed a petition with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) and asked the panel to transfer their complaints as well as other subsequent federally filed power morcellation lawsuits, to the U.S. District Court, District of Kansas for coordinated pretrial proceedings. The plaintiffs requested a multidistrict litigation because all of the complaints allege that laparoscopic power morcellators that are used during a hysterectomy or a myomectomy to remove uterine fibroids can spread and upstage cancer or the development of recurrent parasitic fibroids, according to the petition. The JPML is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the request on October 1. (In Re: Power Morcellator Litigation, MDL Case No. 78)
About Southern Med Law
Southern Med Law and Dr. François Blaudeau possess a unique understanding of the medical and legal questions at issue in power morcellator cancer lawsuit claims. It is this in-depth knowledge that is tantamount to a successful legal representation that protects the rights of the injured. The staff at Southern Med Law is not only trained in successfully handling your legal needs but also understand the pain and suffering and treatment from a medical point of view, and is committed to protecting the rights of all individuals.
Southern Med Law
François M. Blaudeau, MD JD FACHE FCLM Esquire
2224 1st Avenue North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Medical Negligence/MedicalDevice/Pharma/Qui Tam
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