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Johnson and Johnson, plaintiffs close to settling power morcellator lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon are making a move to settle dozens of lawsuits involving its hysterectomy tool that’s been blamed for spreading undetected uterine cancer. The lawsuits involve power morcellators, which have tube-like blades that shred uterine fibroids or entire uteruses within the body and remove the tissue through a small incision in the abdomen. Johnson & Johnson was a top seller of power morcellators, but stopped selling the devices in 2014 after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that about 1 in 350 women had undiagnosed uterine cancer that could be spread by power morcellation. One ... Read More

Lawsuits target makers of power morcellators due to cancer spread risk

Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the makers of a surgical tool used during gynecological surgeries, alleging the devices have caused undiagnosed uterine cancers to spread aggressively, worsening the odds of survival. The device, known as a power morcellator, is used to perform laparoscopic hysterectomies and myomectomies (uterine fibroid removal). It is fitted with a tube-like blade that minces uterine growths or entire uteruses inside the body and then removes the tissue through a small incision in the abdomen. Power morcellation procedures have been favored over open surgeries because they are less invasive, leave less scar tissue, and offer ... Read More

FDA investigating why hospitals did not report cancer risks with power morcellators

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has conducted investigations of several hospitals to find out why doctors and administrators did not report patient injuries and deaths caused by complications for gynecological procedures using power morcellator devices. Under the Code of Federal Regulations, manufacturers of medical devices and hospitals are required to report to the FDA within 10 to 30 days adverse outcomes such as serious injuries and deaths that a medical device may have caused or contributed to. But in the case of power morcellators, this required reporting system appears to have failed. Power morcellators are surgical tools that shred ... Read More

Could other companies start settling power morcellator lawsuits?

Johnson & Johnson, maker of about three quarters of the controversial power morcellator devices used to perform hysterectomies, is raising eyebrows of other power morcellator manufacturers by settling personal injury claims over cancer spread. But those other companies have yet to enter into any agreements with clients. Johnson & Johnson discontinued sales of its power morcellator in July 2014 following concerns that the device could spread undiagnosed uterine cancer. Since then, the company has settled about 70 lawsuits and is working to resolve even more. The news comes just months after the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated several morcellator ... Read More

Johnson and Johnson has begun settling power morcellator lawsuits

Just months after about 100 lawsuits alleging cancer spread risks with a power morcellator device used to perform hysterectomies were consolidated by a judicial panel, Johnson & Johnson has begun settlement talks with some plaintiffs, a lead plaintiffs attorney has confirmed to Law360. Johnson & Johnson has settled several of the lawsuits, but the number of cases the company faces is expected to climb as more injury claims are being investigated across the country. The lawsuits allege that power morcellators were causing the spread of undetected cancer, making the disease more difficult to treat and worsening the odds of survival. ... Read More

Beasley Allen fights for victims harmed by Johnson & Johnson products

Johnson & Johnson on its website claims that it is “caring for the world, one person at a time,” but recent verdicts against the multi-billion-dollar-earning multinational medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods manufacturer suggest the company is more interested in putting profits before patients. This week, a federal jury in Dallas awarded five plaintiffs a total of $467.6 million in a lawsuit that blamed Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopedics’ metal-on-metal hip implant for injuries including metal poisoning and revision surgeries. The verdict comes just weeks after a St. Louis jury awarded $72 million to the survivors of Jacqueline Fox, who sued ... Read More

Johnson and Johnson whistleblower says company puts profits before safety

A former executive of the world’s leading pharmaceutical company is accusing Johnson and Johnson of putting profit above the health and safety of consumers, attempting to market products that wouldn’t meet FDA regulations and retaliating against employees like himself who are bold enough to stand up and call for corporate accountability. According to Law360, former worldwide vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer of Ethicon Inc. filed a whistleblower lawsuit against former employer Johnson and Johnson. Physician Joel S. Lippman is alleging that his termination in May of 2006 was because his product safety concerns threatened to hurt profits. ... Read More

Three lawyers withdraw from power morcellator MDL steering committee

Three attorneys have withdrawn from the 20-person plaintiff leadership team in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) over power morcellators made by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Inc., over disagreements with legal fees and costs. The MDL steering committee, appointed by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil of Kansas, was recognized as the first to be made up of a majority of women, a seemingly obvious idea considering the power morcellation complaints directly affect women. The resignations leave only 10 women on the now-17-person committee. The lawyers took issue with requirements that they should pay into a proposed common benefit fund for cases they had ... Read More

Johnson and Johnson, Ethicon found guilty in transvaginal mesh case; $13.5 million verdict

Yesterday a verdict was reached on the second case to go to trial in the Philadelphia mass tort program against transvaginal mesh manufacturers. A jury of eight women and four men found in favor of plaintiff Sharon Carlino, who alleged that Johnson and Johnson unit Ethicon’s transvaginal tape product, known as TVT, was negligently designed and her physician was not adequately warned of its risks. The company faces $10 million in punitive damages, $3.5 million in compensatory damages, and another $250,000 to Carlino’s husband for loss of consortium, totaling a $13.5 million verdict. Carlino received the TVT implant in 2005 to ... Read More

Rep. Fitzpatrick calls for probe into deaths linked to power morcellators

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick is urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to launch a criminal probe into the deaths of women who have undergone gynecological surgeries using power morcellator devices. Power morcellators are surgical tools fitted with a long, tube-like blade that shreds uterine fibroids or entire uteruses inside the uterine cavity and removes them through a small incision in the abdomen. In April, the FDA issued a warning that power morcellation for hysterectomies and myomectomies can spread undetected uterine cancer, worsening the odds of survival. In November, the FDA ordered black box warnings be placed on the devices ... Read More