Open Accessibility Menu

Robotic Arm Surgery Attorneys in Cleveland

Issues with the da Vinci Surgical System

When the FDA approved the da Vinci Surgical System in 2000, commissioner Jane E. Henney said the robotic arm could “eventually… change the practice of surgery,” according to ABC News. Unfortunately, it has—by adding to the number of surgical mistake lawsuits in this country.

The da Vinci robotic arm system is supposed to help surgeons “perform delicate and complex operations through a few tiny incisions with increased vision, precision, dexterity, and control,” per manufacturer Intuitive Surgical’s website. And, in fact, the FDA approved the device because it proved to be as safe and effective as standard laparoscopic surgery.

A decade later, the da Vinci robotic arm has developed a mind of its own, according to Medscape. Adverse event reports to the FDA have cited damaged organs and severed nerves. One stated that the arm refused to release a patient’s tissue.

“We had to do a total system shutdown to get the grasper to open its jaws,” that report stated.

If you were injured or your loved one died after robotic arm surgery, contact The Mellino Law Firm at (440) 276-3535 for a free consultation with a robotic arm surgery attorney in Cleveland.

What Causes Robotic Arm Surgery Mistakes?

The number of adverse event reports skyrocketed 34 percent between 2011 and 2012, but the company has blamed this on the fact that more surgeons are using the da Vinci robotic arm.

To that end, one doctor told CBS that his hospital performed a mere 175 robotic surgeries in 2008 but expected to do more than 1200 in 2013.

Another doctor blamed that increase on aggressive marketing.

“He led a study published in 2011 that found 4 in 10 U.S. hospitals promoted robotic surgery on their websites, often using wording provided by the manufacturer,” CBS News stated. “Some of the claims exaggerated the benefits or had misleading, unproven claims.”

In November 2013, the FDA decided to survey surgeons about da Vinci’s benefits and downsides.

“Surgeons were asked, among other things, about user training, common equipment repairs, patient selection, the complications they saw and how they compared with those seen in conventional surgeries, and what procedures are the best and least suited for the da Vinci technology,” per Medscape.

A month after its survey, the FDA announced a Class II recall of da Vinci systems and da Vinci EndoWrist needle drivers, justice.org reported. “[Intuitive Surgical] has reported 82 incidents related to damaged or detached needle driver jaw inserts, including 27 incidents where the inserts fell off during surgery. In one case, a device fragment was not retrieved during surgery after falling into the patient, so a second operation was required to remove it.”

Da Vinci Robot Lawsuits

Not surprisingly, the company has faced numerous lawsuits. “Plaintiffs blame their injuries on alleged product defects and ill-trained surgeons,” Medscape reported.

One family was awarded $7.5 million after a surgeon using the robotic arm punctured a 49-year-old man’s intestines during spleen surgery.

“The injuries went undetected for about two weeks while [the patient] suffered an infection, brain damage, [and] organ failure before slipping into a coma and dying,” per an ABC News affiliate. The family’s lawyer told the jury that using the robotic arm for this type of surgery was unnecessary and akin to “using an 18-wheeler to go to the market to get a quart of milk.”

If you were injured during robotic arm surgery, Cleveland product liability lawyer Chris Mellino welcomes you to contact our office at (440) 276-3535 for a free consultation.

Our Clients Love Us

  • I couldn’t be happier with my experience at the Mellino Law Firm. Everyone in the office took great care of us and went above and beyond.

    - Floyd L.

  • I truly was amazed to watch you work at trial. It was a work of art and I was thankful that you were on my side.

    - Milt M.

  • Your kindness, understanding, and immense compassion truly helped our family get through this terrible event. Your willingness to know each of us in a personal way created a warm, pleasant environment. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

    - The W Family

  • My family and I were very pleased to be represented by Mellino Law. They are extremely professional, experienced and conscientious. But, most of all, the entire staff is very caring & compassionate.

    - Jewell Renee S.

  • You were always available to answer any concerns that we had. During the trial, your expertise, knowledge, and professionalism made you stand out in our eyes as “the best” lawyer out there.

    - Rita and Rich R.

  • Mr. Mellino and his staff are very responsive, have a wealth of knowledge, exceptional analytical capabilities, and excellent communications skills.

    - Briggette S.

View All

Why Choose The Mellino Law Firm

  • Tens of millions of dollars recovered
  • Over 30 Years of Experience
  • Free Case Evaluations
  • Successful Results Against Many HealthCare Systems Including University Hospital & Cleveland Clinic
  • Recognized by multiple peer review organizations as one of the best law firms in the country

Contact Us Today

    • Please enter your first name.
    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • This isn't a valid email address.
      Please enter your email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
We value your privacy and will get back to you within 24 hours.