In July 2014, shortly after the FDA issued a strong warning about the dangers of power morcellation, Johnson and Johnson voluntarily withdrew its devices from the worldwide market. The FBI is reportedly now investigating whether the pharmaceutical giant, once the largest manufacturer of laproscopic power morcellators, knew about the surgical tool’s hazards before pulling it off the market.
The probe doesn’t stop there. In 2015, the U.S. Government Accountability Office announced that it is also investigating why the device was allowed to be on the market for two decades before the FDA warned it can spread uterine cancer.
A barrage of morcellator lawsuits have since been filed against Johnson and Johnson and its subsidiary, Ethicon, as well as other manufacturers of these devices. In October 2015, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized dozens of lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit to a single court. Johnson and Johnson has already been settling cases, which are centralized in the U.S. District of Court for the District of Kansas before the Honorable Judge Kathryn H. Vratil.
Among other things, the lawsuits may allege:
- Personal Injury
- Breach of Express Warranty
- Fraudulent Misrepresentation and Omission
- Fraud by Concealment
- Negligent Misrepresentation
- Failure to Warn