The latest plaintiff to file a lawsuit over the da Vinci Surgical System is taking action against the company whose remote-controlled robot allegedly caused her husband to suffer kidney and lung damage, a stroke and other severe bad robot surgery complications before his death last year, The New York Times reports.   

According to the article published March 25th, the da Vinci Surgery lawsuit claims the surgeon who initially operated on the plaintiff’s husband had not used the da Vinci Surgery Robot without supervision prior to that procedure.

“We are the old school, where you trust the doctor,” the plaintiff told the Times.  

Intuitive Surgical challenges any suggestion that in attempt to increase the use of its product it engaged in inadequate surgeon training or improper certification resulting in harm to patients.

Da Vinci Surgery Robot Lawsuits

According to the Times, a routine prostatectomy that should have taken five hours to complete took 13 hours instead, leaving the formerly active 67-year-old retiree incontinent with a colostomy bag, and with kidney and lung damage. He also suffered sepsis and a stroke, which his wife says caused him to cry about feeling “trapped in this body.”  

Intuitive Surgical reported that 1,371 hospitals in the U.S. have purchased at least one da Vinci Surgical System, the Times said. Many have even purchased two. During 2012, the robotic device was used in approximately 500,000 procedures, which included prostatectomies and hysterectomies.

This da Vinci Surgery Robot lawsuit is slated to go to trial in April, and will most likely impact the growing litigation involving these devices.  According to the New York Times,  internal company e-mails provided by  lawyers for the plaintiff may offer insight into the quality of surgeon training and aggressive marketing methods used to sell the da Vinci Surgery Robot.

In an e-mail dated May 31, 2011, one of Intuitive Surgical’s Western regional sales managers urged sales staff to persuade surgeons to switch procedures using traditional surgery methods to robotic ones.

“Don’t let proctoring or credentialing get in our way,” the e-mail said, according to the Times.

A March 5th report from Bloomberg.com stated that 10 lawsuits alleging bad robot surgery complications stemming from da Vinci Surgery Robot procedure had been filed in the last 14 months.

How to File a da Vinci Surgery Robot Lawsuit

If you or a loved one suffered injuries after undergoing a procedure that used the da Vinci Surgery Robot, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit alleging bad robot surgery complications. Contact a lawyer at Bernstein Liebhard LLP today at (877) 779-1414.

Published April 8, 2013 by