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Michigan Woman Files Morcellator Cancer Lawsuit

female patient with doctor

A Michigan woman has filed a morcellator cancer lawsuit against a medical supply company. Denise Whitfield claims the use of a power morcellator sold by Karl Storz Endoscopy caused her to suffer serious injuries, including metastasized Stage 4 bone and breast cancer.

“She must undergo extensive and difficult treatments for her advanced-stage cancer, including daily medications, regular injections and multiple rounds of radiation therapy,” states the claim. “Plaintiff has experienced the ill-effects of both her cancer and cancer treatments including, but not limited to, fatigue, body pain, joint pain, stiffness, inflammation, swelling, insomnia and gastrointestinal distress.”

Power morcellators are medical devices used in a variety of laparoscopic surgeries, including those to treat uterine fibroids. They are used to cut and shred tissue to enable the removal of the tissue through small incisions.

Plaintiff alleges power morcellator gave her cancer

On June 14, 2011, Whitfield underwent a laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy and a bilateral salpingectomy for the treatment of uterine fibroids. Her surgeon used the Rotocut G1 power morcellator for tissue morcellation. The surgeon used the device to cut, shred and remove her fibroid and uterus. Consequently, this procedure caused her to develop cancer outside the uterus.

In 2013, the plaintiff underwent a mammogram that did not reveal any signs of cancer. However, she was admitted to the hospital on July 17, 2014 through the emergency room for spinal surgery. During this stay, it was discovered that she was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastasized bone and breast cancer. The plaintiff alleges that she developed Stage 4 bone and breast cancer as a result of the use of the Rotocut G1 power morcellator.

Since her diagnosis, she has been forced to undergo extensive and intensive therapies to treat and manage her advanced-stage cancer. This includes daily hormone medications, regular injections of medications by her physicians and multiple ten-week rounds of radiation therapy. Consequently, fibroid removal surgery without the use of a morcellator typically poses nearly no danger of dissemination of cancerous cells, subsequent development of cancer outside the uterus and/or upstaging of cancer.

The side effects of her cancer and subsequent cancer treatments have caused Whitfield to suffer fatigue, body pain, joint pain, stiffness, inflammation, swelling, insomnia and gastrointestinal distress. She claims she would not have developed Stage 4 bone and breast cancer without the use of the Rotocut G1 power morcellator.

“The plaintiff, as a result of having to undergo this radiation treatment, has incurred out of pocket expenses for treatment,” states the claim. “Not only does plaintiff now face a shortened life-expectancy, but she must also regularly visit her oncologist and physicians to undergo a battery of treatment and tests for the remainder of her life. Had plaintiff known that she would develop Stage 4, metastasized breast and bone cancer, she would not have chosen to undergo morcellation.”

Power morcellator cancer lawsuit

In her power morcellator lawsuit, Whitfield is suing the defendants on nine counts, including:

  • Failure to Warn
  • Negligence
  • Breach of Express Warranty
  • Manufacturing Defect
  • Breach of Implied Warranty
  • Fraudulent Misrepresentation and Omission
  • Design Defect
  • Strict Liability
  • Negligent Misrepresentation
  1. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Denise Whitfield vs. Karl Storz Endoscopy America, Inc.
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Laparoscopic Uterine Power Morcellation in Hysterectomy and Myomectomy: FDA Safety Communication