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Da Vinci Surgery Robot Lawsuit News: Bernstein Liebhard LLP Comments on Closing Arguments in Nation’s First Da Vinci Lawsuit Trial
Date:5/21/2013

rgery. According to the company, these claims allege that plaintiffs’ injuries were the result of defects in the da Vinci robot and/or Intuitive’s failure to provide adequate training resources to healthcare professionals. **

The da Vinci surgery robot lawsuit currently at trial in Washington was filed by the family of a man who died last August allegedly due to serious injuries he sustained during prostate removal surgery. Among other things, his family claims he was not told that the surgeon performing the procedure had never before operated unassisted with the da Vinci robot. In court filings, that doctor maintained he was told by Intuitive that only two assisted surgeries were needed to achieve “basic competency,” even though the company’s own consultants had reported 20 or more operations were needed. According to a March 21st report from Bloomberg.com, emails disclosed in the proceeding include one in which an Intuitive manager commended a sales represented after he convinced a hospital that five supervised operations were too many. In yet another, an Intuitive sales team was told by their manager not to “let proctoring or credentialing get in the way” of meeting goals on the number of robot surgeries.***

Earlier this year, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) launched a survey of doctors, following an increase in adverse event reports related to the da Vinci robot. According to a March 1st report from Bloomberg.com, the agency is interested in the types of complications surgeons may have observed in robot surgeries, as well as their training on the da Vinci. **** Earlier this month, Intuitive Surgical alerted hospitals to an instrument issue that has the potential to cause surgical burns in some da Vinci patients. According to an Urgent Medical Device Notification dated May 8th, “micro-cracks" in some models of the monopolar curved scissors used with the da Vinci Surgical System "may create a pathway for electrosu
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