Power morcellators are small medical devices with rotating blades that gynecologists or surgeons use to break large tissue into small fragments when performing procedures like hysterectomies or myomectomies. After being broken down, the tissues are vacuumed out of the body. Using a power morcellator allows a doctor to make an incision that is less than two centimeters, which results in quicker patient recoveries and less pain after the surgery. However, our power morcellator lawyers know that the FDA announced in 2014 that power morcellators may inadvertently spread cancerous tissue into other body parts. About one in 350 of the women who need to have a hysterectomy or removal of a uterine fibroid have uterine sarcoma, and using a power morcellator can send the sarcoma tissues into the abdomen. Three months after the FDA announcement, manufacturer Johnson & Johnson withdrew its morcellators from the market and asked doctors not to use them anymore. If you were hurt by a power morcellator or another defective medical device, you should consult an experienced product liability attorney. At Moll Law Group, billions of dollars have been recovered in cases in which we were involved nationwide.Pursuing Damages for Harm Caused by Power Morcellators
The two primary theories of recovery in the power morcellator litigation are design defects that increase the chances of disseminating cancer and failures to warn of known risks in light of the FDA's safety advisory about the risk of sarcoma. It has also been alleged that manufacturers knew since the early 1990s that tissue that should be removed during morcellation could actually stay in the body and become implanted in other organs, thereby resulting in complications. A power morcellator lawyer can help victims try to hold a manufacturer accountable if these allegations are substantiated.
In most states, a manufacturer may be held strictly liable for design defects, which are flaws within the design of a product that make it unreasonably dangerous. The risk-utility test is the dominant test used by plaintiffs to prove to the court that a product has dangerous design defects.
Under the risk-utility test, a product design is defective if the costs of avoiding a specific hazard associated with the current design are less than the safety benefits that would result from the alternative design. The test requires a cost-benefit analysis, limiting the analysis to what is foreseeable over a substantial period of time. In general, a manufacturer is supposed to adopt design safety measures proportionate to the magnitude of the risk. For example, cancer is hugely expensive to treat and can end a patient's life. Therefore, the safety measures used to stop a patient from developing cancer should be proportionately greater.
In an early and influential article, it was proposed that in applying this test, a court should consider how useful the product was, the likelihood that the product would cause an injury, the availability of a substitute product that meets the same need and is not unsafe, the manufacturer's ability to make the product safer without impairing its utility or making it overly expensive, the consumer's ability to avoid danger by using due care in using the product, the user's ability to anticipate the dangers because of general public knowledge about the product, and the manufacturer's ability to spread loss in how it prices the product or through liability insurance. Many courts do not actually apply all of these factors, and often the critical issue is whether a plaintiff can retain a credible expert to provide opinions about a feasible alternative design.Seek Guidance from a Power Morcellator Attorney
If you were hurt due to your doctor's use of a power morcellator, the product liability lawyers at Moll Law Group are available to help you recover compensation for your injuries. Since the manufacturer warned about the risks and asked doctors to stop using these instruments, if a doctor continued using them after receiving the warning, the doctor may be liable for any injuries suffered through a medical malpractice action. Our attorneys represent consumers in states around the nation, such as California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Call us at 312-462-1700 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation with a power morcellator attorney.