In April 2014, the FDA announced that using power morcellators for hysterectomies and the removal of uterine fibroids increases the risk of spreading undetected cancer cells throughout the body. Once these cells spread to other areas of your body, your chances of survival becomes significantly lower.
This has given rise to a number of defective medical device cases against the manufacturers of power morcellators. If you’re considering a power morcellator injury case, it’s important to understand some of the legal principles associated with the claim as well as some of the challenges you may face.
Power morcellator cases are essentially governed by product liability law. In order to achieve a successful outcome in this case, you’ll need to prove that:
- Design defects in the morcellator resulted in the spread of undetected cancer cells throughout your body when a more effective design could have prevented this issue
- The medical device manufacturer had a duty to warn physicians of the potential safety risks associated with power morcellators and failed to do so
In addition, you’ll need to prove that you had undetected cancer cells at the time of your surgery which spread throughout your body due to the use of a morcellator. This will require the use of medical experts who can examine your records to demonstrate that based on the timing of your development of cancer and its severity, it was likely caused by the use of a power morcellator during your surgery. Pathology reports from a removed fibroid can also help support this claim.
A common defense by medical device manufacturers is that your injury was actually due to medical malpractice, and this is often the primary challenge to the success of your case. In order to deflect liability to another party, the manufacturer may claim that the surgeon failed to properly perform a preoperative biopsy to determine whether you were a good candidate for the use of a power morcellator procedure.
An experienced attorney can refute this defense with several different arguments. The most effective include:
- Proving the manufacturer failed to adequately warn physicians of the risks associated with using this defective medical device can demonstrate that a failure to identify a high cancer risk wasn’t in fact an act of negligence in this situation
- Cancerous cells in the uterus are often extremely difficult to detect even when a doctor makes the most diligent efforts possible to do so
With many complex legal and medical principles involved in a power morcellator injury case, it’s crucial that you work with an experienced attorney who can battle the high-powered legal teams employed by the manufacturer. Kimberly Wilson White has made defective medical device litigation a primary focus of her practice. This extensive experience, along with her Master’s Degree in Public Health, gives her the tools necessary to help you hold the negligent manufacturer accountable in court.
Please contact Wilson Law, P.A. using the form at the bottom of the page or call (919) 800-0919 today to schedule your free power morcellator injury consultation. We serve clients in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and throughout North Carolina.