The Bloomberg report is disturbing, to say the least. Although Intuitive Surgical challenges any suggestion that they engaged in inadequate surgeon training and improper certification, training issues will be an important element of this litigation.
New York, New York (PRWEB) March 21, 2013
A new report detailing allegations in da Vinci robot lawsuits is raising new questions about the quality of training surgeons have received on the da Vinci Surgical System, according to Bernstein Liebhard LLP. The report, published by Bloomberg.com, cites emails in at least one da Vinci surgical robot lawsuit filed January 25th in Washington State Superior Court, Kitsap County, that indicate Intuitive Surgical may have encouraged sales representatives to push hospitals to reduce surgeon training on the machine. (Case No. 09-2-03136-5) According to Bloomberg.com, the company may have also reduced its training protocols shortly after the da Vinci robot came on the market, even though the training regimen it presented to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) prior to the robot’s approval was much more stringent.*
“The Bloomberg report is disturbing, to say the least. Although Intuitive Surgical challenges any suggestion that they engaged in inadequate surgeon training and improper certification, training issues will be an important element of this litigation,” says Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm representing the victims of defective drugs and medical devices. The Firm is currently offering free legal evaluations to individuals who suffered serious da Vinci surgery complications in minimally-invasive procedures involving the da Vinci Surgical System. *
Da Vinci Surgical Robot Lawsuit Allegations
According Bloomberg.com, one internal email cited in the da Vinci robot lawsuit pending in Washington shows an Intuitive Surgical sales representative was congratulated for convincing a hospital that five supervised training operations on the da Vinci robot was too many. In another, a manager told his sales team not to “let proctoring or credentialing get in the way” of meeting sales goals. Additional documents cited in the Washington lawsuit indicate the company told the FDA before the da Vinci was approved that it would institute a training protocol that would include a three-day training course for all operating-room personnel, as well as a 70-question quiz. But after the da Vinci Surgical System hit the market, the marketing official in charge of training reduced the quiz to 10 questions and the course to a single day, the lawsuit alleges.
Bloomberg.com had previously reported that Intuitive Surgical had been named in 10 lawsuits in recent months by victims of da Vinci surgery complications. The same report noted that the da Vinci Surgical System had been associated with 70 deaths in informal incident reports sent to the FDA since 2009. In January, the agency launched a survey of hospitals that asked doctors who had used the technology to list any da Vinci surgery complications they may have seen. The FDA survey, which was prompted by a spike in adverse event reports to the agency, also asked physicians to detail their training on the robot.**
According to Bernstein Liebhard LLP, this latest Bloomberg report is only likely to fuel the growing controversy over the use of robotic surgery and the da Vinci robot. Last week, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advised its members that robot-assisted hysterectomy should not be a first choice for women who need the procedure. Among other things, the group cited the technology’s increased learning curve, during which there is a higher complication rate.*** Prior to the release of the ACOG’s statement, a study appeared in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) that questioned the overall benefits of robot-assisted hysterectomy in light of the increased costs associated with such procedures.****
Patients who suffered surgical burns, organ damage, or other serious injuries allegedly due to the da Vinci Surgical System may be entitled to file a da Vinci robot lawsuit to obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. A wealth of information regarding da Vinci surgery complications is available at Bernstein Liebhard LLP’s website. For additional information, please call Bernstein Liebhard LLP today at (877) 779-1414.
About Bernstein Liebhard LLP
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is a New York-based law firm exclusively representing injured persons in complex individual and class action lawsuits nationwide since 1993, including those who have been harmed by dangerous drugs, defective medical devices and consumer products. The firm has been named by The National Law Journal to the “Plaintiffs’ Hot List,” recognizing the top plaintiffs’ firms in the country, for the past 10 consecutive years.
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ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. © 2013 Bernstein Liebhard LLP. The law firm responsible for this advertisement is Bernstein Liebhard LLP, 10 East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016, (212) 779-1414. Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter.
Felecia L. Stern, Esq.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP