A North Carolina man named Jerry Woodell is taking legal action against makers of the power morcellator device that allegedly caused the death of his wife.
Woodell is seeking damages on behalf of his late partner Bethann, who developed cancer after undergoing a total laparoscopic hysterectomy procedure.
The Woodell Family’s Story
In 2012, Bethann was diagnosed with uterine fibroids. For this painful but common condition, doctors recommended a hysterectomy.
In March of that same year, Bethann underwent a laparoscopic morcellation procedure to have the fibroids removed.
Less than six months after the surgery, Bethann began to experience unusual symptoms. She often felt fatigued and started to suffer from migraine headaches. She was admitted to the hospital, where doctors noticed that she had a growth in her pelvis.
Doctors originally thought the large mass was benign, but it was later discovered that Bethann had developed a high-grade cancer called leiomyosarcoma.
In an attempt to save her life, Bethann was exposed to intensive chemotherapy and underwent multiple surgeries. However, her cancer only continued to grow.
Despite a number of last-ditch treatments, Bethann passed away on Sept. 9.
Fighting The Potential Flaws Of Morcellation
On Oct. 22, Woodell filed a lawsuit against high-earning morcellator manufacturers. In his complaint, Woodell listed various injustices. He’s suing for product liability, wrongful death and personal injury.
The lawsuit alleges that the “spinning blades that shred, grind, and core tissue into smaller pieces” can leave behind fragments in the “abdomino-pelvic cavity, or attach to surrounding organs, and cancerous cells can travel to remote areas of the body.”
In his complaint, Woodell argues that device manufacturers were aware of the risks related to the spread of hidden cancer and refused to remedy the situation by altering the design.
“Long before [Bethann] underwent surgery in 2012, defendants knew or should have known that their laparoscopic power morcellators could cause occult malignant tissue fragments to be disseminated and implanted in the body, which, in turn, upstages any cancer present and significantly worsens a woman’s chance of survival,” according to the lawsuit.
Research shows that 1 in 350 women undergoing power morcellation procedures may have hidden cancer cells in their uterus. The FDA warns that if these women have surgery with a power morcellator, it “will spread the cancerous tissue within the abdomen and pelvis, significantly worsening the patient’s likelihood of long-term survival.”
If you developed cancer after having your uterine fibroids removed with a power morcellator, you might be entitled to compensation for this medical side effect.
Request a free, no-obligation case evaluation now to see if you qualify.
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