June 26, 2015 — Lawyers have asked federal judges to centralize nearly two dozen lawsuits involving morcellators into a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2652).
There are at least 22 lawsuits pending in 16 different federal courts around the nation.
Reuters reports that attorneys for six women have filed a request with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to transfer the lawsuits into one federal court in Kansas under U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil (In Re: Power Morcellator Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2652).
Lawsuits accuse manufacturers of power morcellators of failing to adequately warn that the spinning blades of the device can accidentally spread undiagnosed uterine cancer when during hysterectomies and fibroid surgeries. Last year, the FDA warned against using the tools in the “vast majority” of women.
Meanwhile, the filing of new lawsuits continues at a steady page. A woman whose death from uterine sarcoma was blamed on a morcellator was filed on June 18 in Massachusetts Superior Court (Case No. 15-1829). Defendants include Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the morcellator’s manufacturer, Karl Storz.
An attorney for the plaintiff said:
“It is notable that this case was filed on the same day that a number of federal morcellator lawsuit plaintiffs filed a motion seeking the consolidation of those cases in a single federal court. The federal lawsuits put forth many of the same allegations made in this complaint, including those involving the adequacy of the risk information provided to women before they made the decision to undergo uterine morcellation.”
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