When people undergo surgery, they are aware of the inherent risks involved. Naturally, not every injury or worsened condition after a procedure can be the grounds for a claim. However, when a defective or faulty device is used during a procedure, an injured patient might be able to pursue compensation.
If you or a loved one was harmed after undergoing treatment with a power morcellator for uterine or ovarian cancer, reach out to a compassionate attorney at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. to discuss your legal options and rights. A knowledgeable Michigan power morcellator lawyer could help to answer your questions, explain your legal rights, and work tirelessly to pursue compensation on your behalf.
The Complications of Power Morcellators
Electronic power morcellators are medical devices used in myomectomy and hysterectomy procedures to break up fibroid tissue, so it can be removed from the body via minimally invasive surgery. Although these devices are effective at breaking up these non-cancerous growths, use of power morcellators has been linked to the spread of a rare uterine cancer known as metastatic leiomyosarcoma. This rare form of cancer can lie dormant for many years inside the uterus and often goes completely undetected. In some cases, the use of electronic morcellators can disseminate uterine tissue and spread it throughout the woman’s abdomen. If there are cancer cells present, this can lead to the spread of cancer to other organs and tissues in the body.
Fortunately, there are legal actions that can be taken against power morcellator manufacturers for the complications arising from the use of this defective medical device. By working with a Michigan power morcellator lawyer, anyone who has been harmed or suffered a worsened medical condition after being treated with this device could determine if they have grounds for a claim.
Who is Responsible?
The manufacturers of power morcellators are responsible for thoroughly testing their devices and telling the FDA if they discover any defects, or if there are any risks associated with its use. Unfortunately, this device was shown to cause certain patient’s Stage 1 uterine cancer to develop into Stage 4 with just one procedure.
Many manufacturers take shortcuts and cut corners in order to market their product—and, therefore, start turning a profit—more quickly. This process could be the basis for legal negligence, which is a failure to act in a reasonable manner within a given situation.
When people are hurt by another person’s negligence, they can file a lawsuit to claim compensation for their injuries. However, proving negligence is difficult, meaning the help of a well-versed Michigan lawyer who is familiar with power morcellator claims could be helpful.
Pursuing a Lawsuit
Recently, these devices have come under FDA scrutiny for actually spreading undetected cancer cells located in the uterus to other organs and tissues in the body. Metastatic leiomyosarcoma is among one of the severe complications that is believed to be spread by these defective medical devices.
Metastatic Leiomyosarcoma is a soft tissue sarcoma that occurs primarily in women between the ages of 40 to 60 years old. It is a very unpredictable cancer that can remain dormant for long periods of time and suddenly recur after years of inactivity. This type of cancer is very resistant, meaning it does not respond well to radiation or chemotherapy techniques. The use of power morcellators in myomectomy or hysterectomy procedures has the potential to spread unsuspected leiomyosarcoma cells to other organs and tissues in the body.
Women who have suffered complications from hysterectomies involving power morcellators do have legal rights to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Several lawsuits have already been filed that allege morcellator manufacturers did not properly warn patients of the associated risks of their product. These lawsuits are seeking compensation for damages suffered by victims of these defective medical devices.
Seeking Damages in a Power Morcellator Lawsuit
To claim compensation for a defective device, injured individuals must file an injury lawsuit against the manufacturer. In Michigan, this compensation is divided into two types: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are quantifiable damages, meaning they have an actual dollar value. These include items such as medical bills, lost income, and household services such as cleaning and cooking—if the injured individual is no longer able to complete those tasks. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are losses the injured individual has sustained but that are not as easily calculable. These include damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress, among others.
It is important for anyone requesting compensation to understand the caps placed on non-economic damages in product liability cases, which is the area of law faulty medical devices fall into. This cap fluctuates over time, however, so it is important to discuss the specifics of these caps and how they might impact your case with the help of a seasoned power morcellator attorney in Michigan.
Reach out to a Michigan Power Morcellator Attorney for Help
Considering the damage certain power morcellators cause, it is easy to see how someone could suffer permanent damage to their reproductive organs from these devices. Even if they do not have cancer and it does not spread, the fact that these devices do not always solely focus on the cells they are intended to blast away could result in a permanent loss of a reproductive organ. In addition, if a patient does have cancer and that cancer spreads far more quickly than it would have spread naturally, it could cause death and family members of injured individuals may also be able to claim more in non-economic damages.
Holding large corporations such as Johnson & Johnson, one of the manufacturers of these devices, liable for paying compensation is not easy. They have teams of lawyers ready to defend them and resources to hold cases up in court for years. It is for this reason that anyone that has been injured after being treated with this device to speak with a Michigan power morcellator lawyer for help. To schedule a consultation, reach out to a legal professional at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.
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