June 6, 2016 — Johnson & Johnson has settled all but four lawsuits from women who say the company failed to warn about the risk of morcellators spreading cancer.
The amount of settlements varies depending on the injuries and circumstances, but range from about $100,000 to $1 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The company was facing about 40 lawsuits in a centralized federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2652) in federal court in Kansas. Those cases combined with other lawsuits ready to be filed pushed the total number to about 100, according to the WSJ.
On May 27, the parties said they had “successfully resolved the vast majority of cases filed in the MDL” and asked U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil to send the remaining cases back to their respective home districts.
It is unusual for a company to settle a MDL so quickly. The saga began in 2014, when the FDA warned against using power morcellators because about 1 in 350 women with fibroids also has uterine sarcoma.
The FDA recently placed a “Black Box” warning on the label and recommended against using power morcellators in the “vast majority” of women having a hysterectomy or fibroid surgery.
Johnson & Johnson suspended sales of its morcellators, but never issued any recalls or warnings about their devices. It is likely that many women and their families are still unaware that a morcellator may have worsened their cancer and contributed to their death.
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