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Johnson & Johnson continues to settle morcellator claims

For decades, Johnson & Johnson manufactured power morcellators for use in hysterectomies and uterine fibroid removal procedures. While use of the morcellator promoted faster healing times, for women with undiagnosed uterine cancer, morcellation was usually fatal. This was because morcellators grind body tissue into small fragments, which are then removed from the body. Tragically, the morcellator would also grind up cancerous tissue, and tiny pieces of the cancerous tissue would spread across the abdominal cavity, taking a treatable Stage 1 cancer and turning it into Stage 4 cancer in a short period of time.

Despite the fact that hundreds of women died due to morcellation over the last two decades, Johnson & Johnson continued to manufacture morcellators. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did little to warn the public of dangers, despite mounting evidence of the harm morcellators could cause. It was not until November 2014 that the FDA issued a "black-box" warning on the use of morcellators in hysterectomies and uterine fibroid procedures. In this warning, the FDA finally acknowledged that for roughly 1 in 350 women, morcellation would lead to potentially fatal upstaging of cancer.

Compensation for the injured and surviving family members

Johnson & Johnson and other morcellator manufacturers knew or should have known of these risks. As a result, hundreds of women needlessly died. Many women whose cancer has been upstaged, as well as families who lost loved ones, filed suit in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas. This litigation began in November 2015. For months now, Johnson & Johnson has been settling claims with the plaintiffs.

According the Wall Street Journal, sources have said that Johnson & Johnson is paying six- and seven-figure settlements, depending on the age and health of the deceased and the number of surviving family members.

While it is important that Johnson & Johnson compensates the victims of this tragedy, there are still those who want to see the manufacturers of these devices held accountable in the courtroom. Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, is a leading advocate against morcellators. His wife, Dr. Amy Reed, suffered upstaged cancer after undergoing a hysterectomy via morcellation. In his Change.org petition, he asks that those impacted and their lawyers "create a public record of what has happened."

If your cancer was upstaged due to morcellation, or if you have lost your wife, mother, daughter, sister to morcellation, you have the right to recover compensation for your damages. For years, people across the United States have put their trust in the attorneys of Fay Law Group, P.A.

Sources: Johnson & Johnson settling cases tied to device that can spread uterine cancer, by Jennifer Levitz, Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2016, Petition to stop morcellation in minimally invasive gynecological surgery, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, change.org

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