Lieff Cabraser has filed a product liability and negligence wrongful death lawsuit in federal court in New Jersey against surgical tool maker Karl Storz GMBH & Co. relating to its power morcellator surgical tool and allegedly increased cancer risks relating to the device’s use in hysterectomies.
Morcellators are motorized tools used in surgery. The specific type of morcellator at issue in this case is known as a laparoscopic power morcellator. These devices have a spinning blade at the end and have been used for decades to remove the uterus (in a hysterectomy) or remove uterine fibroids (in a myomectomy) by cutting the tissue into tiny pieces and thereafter extracting them through small incisions. This type of surgery is usually less invasive and can require less post-operative recovery time than an abdominal or vaginal hysterectomy or myomectomy.
As reported by Law360, the complaint in the lawsuit alleges that doctors at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey never told the plaintiff that they would be utilizing a power morcellator during surgery, and also that they further neglected to tell the plaintiff that the surgical device had the potential to spread cancerous cells throughout her abdomen. The plaintiff died in June 2016 due to the spread of cancer, in spite of chemotherapy.
“Defendants knew or should have known of the significant cancer risks associated with the morcellator at the time of [the plaintiff’s] surgery in November 2013,” the complaint notes, citing studies about the device’s risks going back as far as 1990.
The complaint also alleges that morcellator manufacturer Karl Storz withheld relevant information from the US FDA when seeking approval for the 2006 version of its morcellator product.
In April 2014, the FDA issued an initial alert that warned consumers about the potential risks of using morcellators during surgery when cancer is present, and distributed a more urgent warning again in November 2014 after reviewing additional medical evidence.
The case is Arshad Sultan v. Karl Storz Endoscopy-America Inc., case number 4648-17 in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County.
Contact a Power Morcellator Injury Attorney
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. If you or a family member have suffered an injury you believe is linked to a surgery performed using a laparoscopic power morcellator, experienced female injury attorneys at Lieff Cabraser are available to answer your questions. We will review your claim for free and without any obligation on your part.