Florida Lawsuits for Robotic Surgery Injuries

Filing a Florida lawsuit for robotic surgery injuries may be warranted if adverse patient outcomes are the result of machine malfunction, surgeon error or a preventable mistake during the procedure. Such claims may be filed against the surgeon, but also potentially against the manufacturer of the robot. Lawsuits against surgical robot manufacturers would not be for medical malpractice, but rather product liability. West Palm Beach product liability lawyer

The use of robotic systems for surgeries has grown rapidly in recent decades. Specialized technology has enabled these systems to deliver precision care, even in difficult-to-reach areas, such as the heart, digestive system, bladder, prostate and more. They tend to result in less pain during recovery, shorter hospital stays, lower risk of infection and smaller scars.

However, they’re also associated with a number of serious risks, such as nerve damage and compression. What’s more, their safety may be overstated, and complications underreported. In one report published in the Journal for Healthcare Quality, researchers report that of the 1 million+ robotic surgeries performed in the last 20+ years, there were 245 complications and 71 deaths reported to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. That figure was suspiciously low. Researchers then uncovered several incidents that were reported by the news media that were never reported to the FDA, indicating intentional underreporting. It’s likely there are additional incidents that were never reported to the FDA or the media.

Johns Hopkins Medicine reported 57 percent of surgeons anonymously reported irrecoverable operative malfunction while using a robotic surgical system, requiring them to convert the procedure to laparoscopic or open surgery.

Recently, a Florida product liability lawsuit for robotic surgery injuries was filed by a Florida man who alleges his wife died following a da Vinci robot surgery for colon cancer at a hospital in Boca Raton in the fall of 2021. The robot works by replacing the surgeon’s hand movements in real time, using a technology called the “EndoWrist.” During the surgery, she suffered a burn in her small intestine, leading to a perforation that led to a cascade of medical crisis – ultimately leading to her death a couple of months later.

An analysis by the FDA of this same surgical device found that over three years, there were many reports of cracks in the rubber sleeve on the end of the instrument that allowed electricity to escape – causing internal burns in patients. Plaintiff in the wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit alleges the patient wasn’t made aware of the heightened risks associated with use of this device – which were greater than those associated with the same procedure conducted with a laparoscopic instrument.

The company that makes this surgical device has been named a defendant in nearly 100 product liability lawsuits alleging patients undergoing surgery with these devices suffered serious injuries and, in some tragic cases, death. Plaintiff is asking for $75,000+ in damages for negligence, product liability, defective design, failure to warn, loss of consortium and punitive damages.

As our West Palm Beach surgery injury lawyers can explain, products liability claims can be based on a broad range of legal theories. Most often, we’ll file on the basis of strict liability, but sometimes negligence. Strict liability doesn’t require a showing that the defendant acted with carelessness. Negligence does. We must prove not only a device defect, but also that that the defect was the cause of their injury. In other words: The plaintiff would not have been injured but for the product defect.

Contact the South Florida personal injury attorneys at Halberg & Fogg PLLC by calling toll-free at 1-877-425-2374. Serving West Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Fort My

Additional Resources:

Robotic Surgery: More Complications, Higher Expense for Some Conditions, Colombia University, Irvine Medical Center

More Blog Entries:

What is Considered Medical Malpractice in Florida? Dec. 28, 2023, West Palm Beach Surgery Injury Attorney Blog

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