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May 15th 2015

Daughters allege El Segundo company’s medical device killed thei

The daughters of a woman who attribute their mother’s death in part to a surgical instrument used to treat her uterine fibroids are suing the El Segundo-based makers of the device.

Sylvia O'Neil and Veronica Hernandez, the daughters of the late Rosine Hernandez, filed the wrongful death suit Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Karl Storz Endoscopy-America, Karl Storz Endovision Inc. and Karl Storz GMBH & Co. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages.

A representative for the companies could not be immediately reached.

The suit states that Rosine Hernandez underwent gynecologic surgery in January 2014 for what were thought to be benign fibroid tumors. Her doctors used a Storz morcellator, which is used for the division and removal of large masses of tissues during laparoscopic surgery, according to the plaintiffs.

However, the woman actually had a deadly uterine cancer that was not diagnosed until after her surgery. . The Storz device seeded and spread the cancer throughout her abdomen, worsening her long-term prognosis, the suit states.

The cancer continued to spread even though she underwent chemotherapy and she died on June 9 last year, according to the lawsuit.

Had the Storz instrument not spread the cancer cells during surgery, her condition would have been properly diagnosed more quickly, according to the lawsuit.

The suit alleges the Storz companies knew of the risks associated with the morcellator and failed to let doctors such as those who performed surgery on Rosine Hernandez know about them.

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