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Robotic Surgery Class Action Lawsuit over the da Vinci Surgical System

Austin Kirk

A growing number of product liability lawsuits have been filed by individuals who experienced complications following robotic surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System.

Last week, a motion was filed in federal court to consolidate all cases filed in U.S. District Courts throughout the country as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation. If granted, the cases would be centralized a manner similar to how a da Vinci robotic surgery class action lawsuit would be handled during pretrial proceedings. However, there are important differences between a class action and an MDL.

UPDATE 8/3/2012: Today the request to centralize the da Vinci litigation as part of an MDL was denied. This means that all cases filed in the federal court system will continue to proceed individually. However, the panel has suggested that informal coordination should provide the same efficiencies.

At this time, at least four complaints have been filed over problems with the da Vinci Surgical System, but it is expected that hundreds of lawsuits will ultimately be filed against Intuitive Surgical by individuals who experienced internal burns, tears and other complications following robotic surgery.

Robotic Surgery Injury Lawyers

Find out if you may qualify for financial damages through a da Vinci robotic surgery lawsuit.

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All of the complaints involve similar allegations that Intuitive Surgical, the manufacturer of da Vinci robot, aggressively promoted the complex machine as a superior alternative to traditional surgery, without providing adequate warnings about the risk of problems caused by design defects that may allow the electric current from the robotic arms may pass outside of the operative field, causing damage to ureters, arteries, blood vessels, the bowel, bladder, vaginal cuff or other organs and tissue.

In a motion filed on May 9, plaintiffs have asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to transfer all currently pending federal lawsuits, as well as any future complaints, to one judge for coordinated handling during pretrial proceedings. This would allow the parties to coordinate the litigation in a manner similar to a class action lawsuit, reducing duplicative discovery and conflicting rulings in different cases proceeding across the country.

The formation of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, is common in complex litigation involving a large number of people who suffered similar injuries from a defective product. While many people would consider such proceedings to be the same as a da Vinci surgery class action, there are important differences between an MDL and class action.

Unlike a class action, where damages are determined through a class representative, each lawsuit will remain an individual claim if the da Vinci robotic surgery MDL is formed. Given the unique circumstances surrounding each case and different injuries from the da Vinci Surgical System, each case must be ultimately considered independently. However, there are many common factual and legal matters during pretrial proceedings, where the cases may benefit from coordinated and consolidated proceedings.

Following MDL proceedings, if a settlement agreement is not reached in each of the robotic surgery lawsuits, claims may be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where they was originally filed for an individual jury trial.

Intuitive Surgical has not yet responded to the motion filed to consolidate the federal da Vinci robotic surgery litigation, so it is unknown whether they will support the centralized management of the cases.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will likely schedule oral arguments on the motion for hearing set for July 26, 2012, which will be held at the Carl B. Stokes U.S. Courthouse in Cleveland, Ohio. If it is determined that the da Vinci lawsuits should be centralized in an MDL, the panel will determine what is the most appropriate venue for the litigation.

DA VINCI SURGICAL SYSTEM CLASS ACTION LAWYERS

The robotic surgery lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential individual injury claims and class action lawsuits for individuals who experienced complications following a da Vinci Surgical procedure, such as:

  • Burns or Tears
  • Ruptures or Dehincenses, which allow organ contents to leak out
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Additional Surgery
  • Death

To review a potential claim for yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

21 Comments Add Your Comments

  1. I am interested in filing a lawsuit due to DA VINCI SURGICAL Robotical Surgery. I have been left totally imptotent and incontinent. I knew that there were certain consequence involed, but they were not fully explored with me. I didn’t know, I would never have a natural orgasm. I was led to believe that I would eventually have a natural erection. Cialis, Viagra, the pump has not worked. I have to wear urinary pads daily.

    I was 55 when the surgery was perfromed. The doctor gave me no other options.

  2. every since the surgery from the de vinchi robot. ive had several stomach pain, multiple utis, pain during sex, doubleing over pains. been back and forth to the er mutiple times and i dont have medical insurance to pay for my bills my problems have been worse since my surgery.

  3. I am interested in the lawsuit. October 10, I had a hysterectomy by davinchi….my kidneys ache all the time. The night before last I suddenly became very ill. Vomiting, pain, etc. My son had to come and get me and take me to the ER. After MRI ect…they said I had diverticulosis (sp). Told me I had a bubble in my bladder (which prior to surgery was connected to my uterus by adhesions)…and a bubble in my lower bowel. I had sonos etc prior to surgery…no mention of this problem. In fact…I have never had this type of illness….now suddenly after month and half of the surgery…I am sick.

  4. I had a Da Vinci hysterectomy in June 2010. It has been one of the worst mistakes I’ve made. I have had nothing but problems since. It has completely altered my intimate life with my new husband. I am 38 years old and my life has revolved around my gastrointestinal and urinary issues. I have been on anti-biotics and Detrol LA everyday since my surgery, I severely hemorrhaged two weeks following my surgery with no answers as to why. This has been a nightmare for me and my husband.

  5. The robot was used on me jan 2011 to remove my ovaries. October 2011 I had to have a surgical hernia repair. Two surgeries in one year. Maybe this robot isn’t worth using

  6. since the surgery 5 months ago my kidneys hurt all the time pain during sex, every time i eat i get a bad stomach ache. bloated all the time . I can eat a craker and feel like i ate a 10 course meal. constant pain and pressure

  7. I had a da vinci assisted hysterectomy in Feb. 2012 and two weeks later was in having more surgery because my ureter suffered a thermal injury that went undetected. I now have constant kidney aching, flank pain, and feel horrible pretty much most of the time. My bladder needed reconstructed to be able to reach what they could salvage from the damaged ureter. I was very sick for a long time. I’ll never be out of the woods, as I can develop ureter and kidney problems at any time, because of this.

  8. In March of 2012, I had my uterus and cervix removed vaginally and test results showed I had uterine cancer. Seven weeks later, I had the Da Vinci robot used to remove my ovaries and lymph nodes to see if the cancer had spread.
    Since then, the top part of my thighs are slightly numb, I always feel bloated and have this ugly puffy pouch in my groin area. I have just recently started to have pain in my right groin area and lower right side on my back. I haven’t felt good since the surgery. I don’t know if it’s because of the surgery itself or just menopause stuff.

  9. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in October of 2008. Had the robotic prostatectomy surgery Jan. 5 2009. Was never told that it could or would leave me impotent and having to inject my penis with Edex in order to get an erection. Dr. never really told me even after the surgery that this is what I had to look forward to the rest of my life. His standard comment was it could take up to 36 months for blood vessels to heal and become active again. Dr. had me on all of the pills Viagra ect. none of which made any difference except giving me a headache and making everything look blue in color.
    Edex is very painful after having sex for a period of up to two hours. If I had it to do all over again I really think I would take my chances with the cancer.

  10. I had prostrate operation 2010, and I was not told that mine penis would be reshaped, erection few and far apart

  11. da Vinci surgical system is not to blame people. It’s the surgeon. If you get in a car accident, do you blame it on the car? No, it is blamed on the operator. Think about it.

    Prostate surgery – unless you have “nerve sparing” prostate surgery your chances of an erection are minimal. There is a higher chance of impotence and incontinence with your other option an open surgery. This is where you have a large incision, more chances for complications and longer hospital stay with increased infection rates. The choice of having it done robotically is the GOLD Standard because it is less invasive with fewer complications. The reason you have this surgery is to get the cancer out. Unfortunately, there are life changes that come with that. You are cancer free now and living a longer life. This was your choice.

    Complications happen with any type of surgery all the time. It’s easy to point a finger but at least know the facts before you start bashing something that saved your life.

  12. Roxanne says:

    I had the Da Vinci surgical hysterectomy in January 2010 at the age of 47. It has dramatically changed my every day life forever, I was assured that the Da Vinci Robot was the way to go, with much less pain and a shorter recovery period. I was rehospitalized for almost two weeks following my surgery with a sever infection, fever and pain. I still have daily abdominal pain and cramping. I can’t lift or climb stairs without pain. I can’t have a normal relationship with my husband without pain. This surgery was the biggest regret of my life.

  13. Had surgery to remove benign tumor from kidney about 2 years ago. Have since experienced continued stomach bloating, gas and pain the cause of which has not been determined despite endoscopy, colonoscopy, ultrasound, cat scan.

  14. I had a prolapsed rectum which returded out of me extremely painful, I waited 3-4 weeks in agonizing pain so my Dr. could use this in Battle Creek, Mich. I had the surgery left home in 3 days a few days later was terribely sick and vominting bile and fever, taken to Borgess with a bad infection for 7 days came home 2 days later still extremely sick went back to Borgess with a bad infection and complications from the surgery. 10 with a ng tube, bag and no food, thous I wanted to lose wt I dropped 15 lbs in 10 days, I finally had the tube removed, and slowly started eating, it was a nightmare/ wish my Dr. never would have told me what a wonderful device bull-crap it made me very sick big mistake.

  15. I had the da Vinci surgery in 2010 and for a few years could not figure out why did not feel good and finally went to er and they said had epigastic hernia and day I of surgery my surgeon asks what surgeries have had and when told him about the cull hysterectomy via the da Vinci he turned and said that is what probly caused it did to were the hernia was located right were one of the insitions was. I just had surgery 8/30/13 a long time to feel like crap.

  16. I had the Davinci partial hysterectomy in February 2013, told it was less hospital time, less bleeding, less recovery time, all around SO much BETTER. They were WRONG. I suffered a torn vaginal cuff with prolapsed intestines that had to be surgically repaired in April of 2013. Hematomas, adhesions all throughout my abdomen, sepsis, constant pain, fecal incontinence…Last month my bladder and vagina have prolapsed ontop of my rectum, destroying it, I am now awaiting ANOTHER surgery, this time it will be for either a colestomy or ileostomy bag! I am 33, I have 6 children, and my life has been a living hell since I had this surgery done!

  17. my husband had the da Vinci surgery for prostatectomy 2012. unfortunaly he received burn mark on his back. I report it to the attendant and the doc who perform the surgery at the hospital . he had no response. my husband did heal up from the burns. but now he has set of new problem; he had to go back into surgery for a surgical hernia that was created from the prostatectomy surgery .Unfortunaly hernia surgery did not take because he still has the knot in his stomach. plus he going into surgery again because he incontinent so what are you suppose to do; is it the doc or this robotic machine at fault. or is it all in my husband mine.

  18. In 2008 I had a Hysterectomy to remove my uterus. 7 days after the surgery I was having horrible pain in my lower back went to the hospital to discover that i had a cut in my ureter and had to go right back into surgery. This was supposed to be less recovery and less risk. We’ll that one surgery caused me to have multiple procedures done. They first tried to put a stint in my urethra that didn’t work, so they then had to put me back under to place a nephrostomy tube in my ureter. I then had to waited six to eight weeks until the hysterectomy was healed before they could fix the ureter. That was the worst thing ever, because I was told the my life could be pretty much normal so if I have things planned that I should go on as usual. That was a joke. I couldn’t do anything! There was only one chair that I could sit in,everything I tried to do was painful. It was a night mare. I was so sad and depressed that I thought I was losing my mind. After my mind was just about to give out it was time for my repair surgery. I had to have reconstructive bladder surgery because my bladder had a whole in it. I was told they were going to go through a prexisting scar but they couldn’t because to much scar tissue so now my belly looks like railroad tracks. I ended up on anti depressants, my hair fell out, couldn’t sleep, my whole body hurt. My love is now non existed, I no long want to have sex with my husband because it is to painful. My back still hurts from the kidney bag, my feet still hurt and my buttocks for sitting for months in the same chair. I am now just able to not cry when I hear the word Pap smear thanks to wonderful new doctor that I am seeing. My urine smells old and now I have problems with leakage. I’m 49 yrs old and I feel like I’m 90.

  19. Karla I am sorry for what has happen to you . My husband has been going though allot; he just got out of surgery again, He had a sling with a mess put in for his incontinent. He was refer to only to see this particular doctor who was top in field; by the original doctor who done the robotic surgery.This doctor persuaded him to have it done instead of the splinter; what is to be a gold standard. unfortunaly this sling and the mess isn’t working. the medical cost is getting out of hand. I hate to see my husband this way . it stressing him out too. I hope that you can find a doctor that can help you. I am coming to conclusion a recommendation or referral isn’t always the best. My husband should went with his instant and went to the cancer center. who also deal with this type of procedure. wish you all the best

  20. Mary, I am not bashing any body or anything I am telling our story so other can be more inform. When my husband went into surgery he was told the cancer was contend in the prostate , after surgery there is still sign of cancer. he was not recommend for chemo or radiation. so Mary is his quality life still worth saving or is it about the $ 147000.00 that de Vince surgery bring in for the medical field . because after three surgery he should be better and he not. and yes I have done my homework. but we still should have trust in our doctor to do and tell us the right thing.

  21. I had the robotic surgery after being prompted in this direction by a local UA doctor that reviewed my PSA scores. Told me all the negative things about all types of other prostrate treatments then directed me to a Dr. in Tulsa. I can’t get an erection any more, it has been 17 months, unless I do injections and they don’t work any more. That being bad enough I have lost around 3″ of length and now it is IMPOSSIBLE to control direction of urine. I have to set on toilet. I was never told, about length loss. They also had told me my sex life should return to what it was before the surgery. It hasn’t happened yet.

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