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Da Vinci Robot Lawsuit Settles, as Prostatectomy Case Set for Trial in Washington State

Published April 23rd, 2013 by Sandy Liebhard

da vinci robot lawsuit settlesAs da Vinci robot lawsuits involving Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci Surgical System continue to mount in courts throughout the country, a settlement has been reported in one claim filed in Louisiana federal court. Meanwhile, a case involving an allegedly botched da Vinci prostate removal headed to trial on April 15th in Washington state.

Da Vinci Robot Lawsuits Mounting in Courts Around the Country recently reported that a growing number of lawsuits have been filed in courts around the country on behalf of patients who allegedly suffered serious  da Vinci surgery complications, including organ perforations, torn blood vessels, surgical burns and even death. According to an order entered March 14th in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Intuitive has agreed to settle one  da Vinci robotic surgery lawsuit filed on behalf of a woman who allegedly suffered injuries when the device malfunctioned during a thyroid procedure. Among other things, the Plaintiff accused Intuitive Surgical of failing to adequately maintain the device, and failing to train hospital personnel on the use of and/or the troubleshooting of the device. The terms of the da Vinci settlement have not been made public.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed by the family of a man who allegedly died as a result of complications in a da Vinci prostatectomy went to trial in Washington Superior Court, Kitsap County, on April 15th. According to the lawsuit, the deceased suffered a number of injuries, including kidney failure, brain damage, permanent incontinence, and a 1-inch tear in his rectum, that allegedly led to his later death. Among other things, the complaint accuses Intuitive of failing to properly train doctors on the da Vinci robot, and recommending that they perform unsupervised surgeries too quickly. According to, documents being cited in the Washington lawsuit include internal emails that show an Intuitive Surgical sales representative was congratulated for convincing a hospital that five supervised training operations on the da Vinci robot was too many. In another, a manager told his sales team not to let proctoring or credentialing get in the way of meeting sales goals.

Reports of Mounting Da Vinci Surgical Complications Attract Regulatory Scrutiny

According to Bloomberg, an apparent increase in adverse event reports related to the da Vinci robot has prompted the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to launch a survey of doctors to determine if the spike is related to a problem with the technology. Likewise, the Massachusetts Board of Medicine cited increased reports of robotic surgery complications in a new advisory it issued last month.

Victims of alleged da Vinci surgery complications may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. To learn more about da Vinci surgical robot lawsuits, and for a free evaluation of your case, please contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP today, by calling .

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