Robot-assisted surgery lawsuits to begin this week | On Call

April 16, 2013 by Arezu Sarvestani

The 1st in a series of lawsuits against medical device maker Intuitive Surgical and its da Vinci robot-assisted surgical system is set to begin this week in Washington.

MassDevice On Call

MASSDEVICE ON CALL — The 1st in a series of lawsuits against Intuitive Surgical's (NSDQ:ISRG) is set to begin this week in Washington, with a state court prepared to hear opening arguments accusing the company of failing to provide sufficient training to surgeons using the device.

There are at least a dozen lawsuits against Intuitive Surgical and the da Vinci robot-assisted surgical system, some from patients who claim they were permanently injured and others filed by families of patients who died after undergoing surgery.

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The 1st case to proceed to trial was filed by the family of Fred Taylor, a patient who died after undergoing prostatectomy by a surgeon using the da Vinci system. The procedure that allegedly led to Taylor's death was the surgeon's 1st unsupervised robot-assisted surgery, Bloomberg reported.

Taylor's family filed the lawsuit against Intuitive Surgical, claiming his death was the result of heart failure that stemmed from the procedure and that surgeon Dr. Scott Bildsten wasn't properly properly prepared to perform the operation solo.