Da Vinci Robotic Surgery Lawsuit

In California, a woman his filed a da Vinci surgical robot lawsuit after her ureter was damaged during robotic hysterectomy surgery.

Elisa Rister and her husband, Richard, filed the dangerous medical device lawsuit on July 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California after she suffered a number of painful injuries following robotic surgery.

The sole defendant in the case is Intuitive Surgical, Inc., the maker of the da Vinci Surgical System.  In the suit, the plaintiff alleges that the company displayed negligence in aggressively selling the robotic surgery system when they knew that the device posed significant risk to patients.  Mrs. Rister also claims that the company failed to conduct sufficient research into their product, nor did they adequately warn of the risks and complications associated with the da Vinci system.

Mrs. Rister is now plagued with abdominal and pelvic pain, bloating, distention, dyspareunia, and decreased stamina and energy after the surgical robot damaged her ureter, vaginal cuff, and bowel.

The da Vinci Surgical System is a remote-controlled robot that helps doctors conduct minimally invasive surgery with far less scarring than a traditional incision would leave and dramatically reduces post-surgery recovery time.  To use the robot, a surgeon manipulates hand and foot controls to move its four metal arms.

Rister’s lawsuit is not the first.  In fact, it is one of many past and present da Vinci lawsuits filed by patients from across the country who have suffered complications and injuries during robotic surgery conducted with the device.  The lawsuits are all based on similar claims that defects in the design of the device and insufficient training (conducted by Intuitive Surgical) led to organ, vessel, or tissue damage.

One problem identified with the da Vinci system is that it uses monopolar energy to cut, burn, and cauterize tissue, which some opponents claim is not as safe as ultrasonic or bipolar energy.  Furthermore, plaintiffs in da Vinci lawsuits claim that inadequate insulation in the robotic arms can cause burns to surrounding tissues.

A recent request to consolidate all federal da Vinci lawsuits was denied last month by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, so all cases will continue as individual claims.

Contact a Medical Device Lawyer

If you have suffered injury or the loss of a loved one after surgery with a da Vinci surgical robot, you are legally entitled to pursue compensation in a dangerous medical device lawsuit.  A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you recover compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages.  Contact an experienced attorney today for a free legal consultation.


Aug. 28, 2012 | Tags: Da Vinci Surgical Robot, Dangerous Medical Devices, Defective Medical Devices

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