Da Vinci Surgical Robot Lawsuits

Several hospital burn lawsuits involving the “da Vinci Surgical Robot” claim that a number of patients have suffered serious burns. One New York father filed a wrongful death hospital burn lawsuit after his daughter died as a result of burns caused by the robot.

The lawsuit claims that the da Vinci robot caused burns to an artery and intestines when his daughter was having a hysterectomy in a Bronx hospital in August 2010. She died two weeks later. According to the complaint, the da Vinci robot is defective: design flaws include un-insulated surgical arms and use of electrical current that can jump to healthy internal organs and tissue. It also claims that physicians are not properly trained on the device, and that Intuitive Surgery Inc., the manufacturer of the robot, has failed to run randomized tests as to complications with its robot; and it failed to adequately research the da Vinci device or warn patients and the medical community that its use comes with substantial risk of complications and injuries.

The products liability lawsuit filed by this woman’s father alleges that the insulation on the shafts of the da Vinci robot caused burns to the artery and her intestines, which injuries resulted in her death.

In addition, reports of numerous other post-surgery complications attributed to use of the da Vinci robot have appeared in medical journals and newspapers. The most common types of harm or injury associated with robotic surgery involving gynecological surgery, e.g., hysterectomy like in the McCalla case, or prostate surgery, e.g., prostatectomy, are:

  • ureter(s) cut
  • vaginal cuff dehiscence
  • organ puncture
  • internal burns
  • tears of intestines or blood vessels

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