Would you feel safe using the Da Vinci Surgery Robot if you found out even the chairman of the company who markets the device—which is at the center of a rising number of Da Vinci Surgery Robot lawsuits— sold part of his stock in it?

A Dec. 19 report issued by market research group, Citron Research revealed that Lonnie Smith, who serves as chairman of Intuitive Surgical Inc. recently sold $50 million worth of his own shares in the company.

Could this have been caused by what Citron refers to as the “gathering storm of legal liability” of Da Vinci Surgery Robot lawsuits faced by Intuitive Surgical? Analysts at Citron Research are predicting that Intuitive Surgical’s stock price per share will drop to $350, before bottoming out at $250 in the next 18 months. This will follow the 52-week high seen by the medical device manufacturer, of more than $590 a share.

Part of the reason for this stock fall, Citron Research said, may be owed to the company’s track record of “excessive and unjustified marketing claims” about the Da Vinci Surgical Robot. While Intuitive Surgical has touted the product for its effectiveness in performing urologic, laparoscopic, and gynecologic surgery since it was approved in 2000, a rising number of claims allege the opposite.

In fact, a Da Vinci Surgery Robot lawsuit was filed on Nov. 21 by a California woman who alleges the remote-controlled robot, which was used during the hysterectomy and gall bladder removal procedure she underwent, caused her to suffer vesicovaginal fistula and infection.

This case is now pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Patients who received the Da Vinci Surgery Robot say they experienced surgical burns and tears to their arteries and other blood vessels, surgical burns and tears to vital organs, cut uterers, excessive bleeding and bowel injuries. The Da Vinci Surgery Robot has even been linked to death.

Published December 28, 2012 by