Magana Cathcart & McCarthy

California Woman Seeks Damages for Injuries Believed to be Caused by DaVinci Surgical Robot


A woman who experienced extensive and permanent disfiguring injuries after being operated on by a robotic surgical device has filed a claim for her damages in Santa Clara Superior Court. The surgical robot in question is called the Da Vinci robotic surgical system, manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, and it has been the subject of hundreds of complaints, dozens of lawsuits, and even a number of wrongful deaths.

The 44-year-old woman at the center of the recently-filed suit, titled Zarick v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc., had needed to undergo a hysterectomy due to the presence of growing cysts in her pelvic region in 2013. Her doctor had convinced her to elect to have the surgery completed by the Da Vinci system, as he described the device as a minimally-invasive, safe alternative to other surgical alternatives available to her. The Da Vinci is, in fact, the only surgical robotic device certified for procedures involving soft tissue.

The device’s malfunction was not immediately apparent at the time of or immediately following the surgery. However, five weeks post-surgery, the woman required life-saving medical attention for damage done by the surgical robot; namely, the prolapse of her intestines through her vagina. The woman underwent emergency surgery to repair the prolapse, but still experienced permanent damage to her internal organs that, among other things, prevent her from having sex with her husband.

The woman claims in her lawsuit that the electrified scissors which the Da Vinci robot uses to cauterize tissue were improperly insulated, allowing electricity passing through the scissors to burn the woman’s bowels and other surrounding tissue. She is seeking $300 million for her severe injuries.

In fact, the poor insulation in the Da Vinci system’s electrified scissors has resulted in severe burns and electrification in a number of other patients. Intuitive Surgical itself warned hospitals and doctors that some versions of the electrified scissors were defective and prone to leaking electricity, but did not recall the devices. Other components included in the Da Vinci system have been subjected to a Class II recall by the Food and Drug Administration, including the system’s instrument control box and dual camera controller.

If you have been seriously injured by a dangerous or defective medical device in California, seek the compensation you deserve for your medical bills and pain and suffering by contacting the skilled and knowledgeable Los Angeles dangerous medical device attorneys at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy for a consultation on your case, at 310-553-6630.

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