Intuitive, the maker of robotic surgery systems, is accused of behaving like a 'car dealership," according to testimony in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The estate of a man who died as the result of surgical errorsis now suing the group for more than $8 million. The company that makes the da Vinci robotic surgical system is now facing at least 26 lawsuits alleging that the company failed to properly train physicians in the use of its robotic surgical machinery. Robotic surgery is currently used in many Boston hospitals and other locations throughout the country.
Robots manufactured by Intuitive were used in at least 300,000 U.S. operations in 2012. The company recently simplified its requirements for training in order to win approval for the devices from the United States Food and Drug Administration. The doctor who performed the surgery had performed at least 100 successful prostate removals using traditional surgical methods, but the victim's surgery was the first time he had used the robotic system without supervision.
The lawsuit requests $4 million for the pain and suffering experienced by the husband prior to his death. The man endured robotic surgery in September 2008 and faced multiple complications afterward. The lawsuit also requests $4 million for the man's widow and $150,000 each for his son and two stepdaughters.
Victims of medical malpractice or the families who survive them may be entitled to damages from the doctors, hospitals or manufacturers of medical devices involved in their treatment. In the case of a wrongful death lawsuit such as this one, a wrongful death attorney may represent the family's interests in the case. The family may request payment of pain and suffering of the victim, loss of love and affection, loss of financial support and medical and funeral expenses.
Source: Bloomberg News, "Intuitive Resembled a Car Dealership, Lawyer Tells Jury", Patricia Guthrie & Joel Rosenblatt, May 20, 2013