Plaintiff Settles with LiNA Medical Over Power Morcellator Death Lawsuit

July 23, 2015

Two weeks ago, one of the first laparoscopic power morcellator lawsuits that was filed in federal court was finally settled. The plaintiff, widower Scott Burkhart, settled for an undisclosed amount right before it the lawsuit was scheduled to reach trial. He had originally filed the lawsuit in March 2014 against LiNA Medical after his wife, Donna Burkhart, died of myelosarcoma, a type of uterine cancer. She had developed the cancer after her hysterectomy was performed with a power morcellator.

Laparoscopic power morcellators are medical devices used during laparoscopic surgeries and more specifically, during hysterectomies or myomectomies. Recently, in November 2014, the FDA released a warning against the use of power morcellators in these particular surgeries. It further required manufacturers to put a black box warning that detailed the risk of spreading undiagnosed uterine cancer.

Currently, there are about 20 other morcellator lawsuits being brought against various manufacturers. Mr. Burkhart also named Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit, as well as Blue Endo. Mr. Burkhart’s wife had no history of metastatic cancer or disease prior to her surgery in 2012 but only a week after the procedure, doctors informed her that she had cancer. Complaints that have been brought against these various manufacturers allege that they were not warned about the risk of spreading undiagnosed cancer after a power morcellator was used in their surgeries or procedures. Mr. Burkhart himself hoped to bring attention to these possible complications.

Legal Commentary
The complications caused by these devices have led to several cases where undiagnosed cancer was spread after a surgical procedure. According to the FDA, as many as 1 in 350 women is suspected of having undiagnosed uterine sarcoma that can be spread during morcellation. For patients, this can be a costly, painful and potentially deadly complication. From a civil standpoint, our firm has represented numerous families who are the victims of the complications from a variety of surgical tools, devices and products, including a power morcellator. If you or a loved one has experienced any of these problems because of a power morcellator, we encourage you to consult with one of our attorneys as soon as possible. A successful civil claim pursued against the responsible party will help compensate the victims for the costly medical expenses, and hopefully for their pain, suffering, and lost wages for time missed from work. Further questions can be directed to the Fears | Nachawati Law Firm by emailing Majed Nachawati at mn@fnlawfirm.com, or by calling our office at 1.866.705.7584.

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