The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has consolidated over a dozen laparoscopic power morcellator injury and wrongful death cases filed in federal court for pre-trial discovery before Judge Kathryn H. Vratil in MDL No. 2652 in the District of Kansas (In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Power Morcellator Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2652).
Morcellators are surgical tools with a spinning blade to facilitate the removal of the uterus (in a hysterectomy) or the removal of uterine fibroids (in a myomectomy) by cutting the tissue into tiny pieces. However, not all the tissue is removed during the surgery. If any previously undetected cancer cells are present in the uterus, the spinning blade of the morcellator can rapidly spread the cancer cells to the abdominal and pelvic cavities and other organs, potentially dramatically worsening the patient’s outcome.
Plaintiffs initiated the centralization request to try to streamline the litigation for the maximally efficient management of injury and wrongful death claims brought by or on behalf of the families of women across the U.S who suffered worsening uterine cancer. As the Panel wrote in its 10/15/15 Order:
We are persuaded that the District of Kansas is an appropriate transferee district for this nationwide litigation. This district is centrally located and easily accessible for all parties. Furthermore, centralization in this district allows us to assign the litigation to a skilled and efficient jurist with a wealth of MDL experience.
Lieff Cabraser partner Wendy Fleishman noted, “we are pleased that the power morcellator injury and wrongful death cases against Ethicon have been centralized before Judge Vratil in the District of Kansas. Judge Vratil is an experienced and extremely bright jurist who understands the need to move these extremely serious cases along quickly and efficiently.”
Lieff Cabraser represents women who underwent a hysterectomy or other type of uterine surgery in which a power morcellator was used and cancerous tissue was spread. Please contact us by completing the contact form on our power morcellator injuries case page. You can also call us toll-free in our New York office at 1-888-321-1510 and ask to speak to Lieff Cabraser attorney Wendy Fleishman or Kelly McNabb.