For more information or confidential assistance
se habla español

Defendants Initiate Removal of Da Vinci Robot Lawsuit from State to Federal Court

female patient with doctorThe Da Vinci surgical robot is one of the most innovative designs to emerge in medical technology. However, this technology is not without complication, and several hundred injured plaintiffs have alleged severe injuries and unnecessary harm at the hands of this highly-touted surgical tool.

Recently, a Georgia plaintiff alleging severe injuries following a procedure with the robotic arm commenced her lawsuit in state court, specifically filing in the Fulton County courthouse. Shortly thereafter, the defendants – known as Intuitive Surgical, Inc. and Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc. – relied on the tenets of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Section 1441(a) of the 28th Title of the United States Code, both of which allow a defendant to remove a case from state to federal court in its discretion.

Intuitive Surgical cited “diversity of citizenship” as the appropriate grounds for removal – a doctrine which permits parties from two different states to turn over their case to the federal court system for ultimate resolution. Reason being, out-of-state defendants may be subjected to the “home court advantage” perceived to benefit the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit, and removal to the federal court system is calculated to diminish this sort of geographical bias.

Problems with the DaVinci Robotic Arm

Intuitive Surgical’s robotic arm technology is undoubtedly revolutionary for its time, however the plaintiff in today’s case is just one of several across the United States with severe allegations of injury sustained during an otherwise routine procedure. In the plaintiff’s case, she underwent a gynecological procedure at her local hospital, which utilizes the $1.5 million robotic-assisted surgery tool for the completion of so-called minimally-invasive, low-risk procedures.

In the plaintiff’s case, her surgeon manipulated the robotic arms via computer terminal, and relied on the technology of the “Monopolar Curved Scissors” to complete a procedure on her reproductive organs. Allegedly, the Da Vinci robot did not approach the area with the precise specificity required, and the plaintiff suffered an unexpected injury to her left ureter – including debilitating thermal burns and scarring. According to the plaintiff’s assertions, her injuries will last permanently, and she will suffer the effects of the defective Da Vinci robotic device for the duration of her life.

Widespread problems with the Da Vinci robotic device

The Da Vinci robot is touted by Intuitive Surgical as the answer to some of the most common complications following routine surgery: healing time and pain. More specifically, the makers of the Da Vinci robot assert that using the technology to complete procedures involving both female and male reproductive issues, as well as minimally-invasive abdominal surgeries, reduce the recovery time typically associated with traditional procedures.

However, certain medical groups and experts are not so sure, and many have considered the device to be an unwelcome advancement in technology replete with problems, glitches, and lacking specificity. In other da Vinci robot surgery lawsuits, plaintiffs have claimed severe injuries and perforations to surrounding tissues affected by the robot during surgery, leading many practitioners to opt for the traditional, hands-on route.