Oregon Woman Awarded $100,000 in da Vinci Robotic Surgery Lawsuit

Da Vinci Robotic Surgery Jury Award

Written by Faith Anderson on December 16, 2013
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Oregon Woman Awarded $100,000 in da Vinci Robotic Surgery Lawsuit

An Oregon gynecologist has been ordered to pay $100,000 in damages to a woman who claims she suffered complications during a robotic surgery procedure that turned out to be unnecessary.

In a recent medical malpractice lawsuit filed in Oregon, a jury awarded $100,000 in damages to a woman who suffered from complications following da Vinci robotic surgery. The complaint was filed by Michelle Elsey against Dr. Daniel Laury, and alleged that the gynecologist removed a healthy ovary during robotic surgery in 2007, and left foreign objects in her body during the unnecessary procedure. According to Elsey’s lawsuit, the da Vinci surgical robot malfunctioned during the procedure, leaving behind a laparoscopy sheath and extraneous coils that were found in her body during a CT scan more than three years later. If you believe you have been adversely affected by side effects of da Vinci robotic surgery, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help put you in touch with a qualified product liability lawyer in your area.

Medical Malpractice Complaint Filed Over Robotic Surgery

In her complaint, Michelle Elsey claims that she underwent robotic surgery after experiencing pelvic pain, and alleges that a misdiagnosis resulted in the removal of her fallopian tube, right ovary and appendix, which were later found to be healthy. In addition to undergoing an unnecessary surgical procedure, Elsey claims she also suffered complications associated with a laparoscopy sheath and extraneous coils that were left in her body during the procedure. As a result, Elsey filed a medical malpractice claim against Dr. Laury, seeking nearly $1 million in damages, and was awarded by the jury $10,500 for medical expenses and another $100,000 for pain and suffering.

Intuitive Surgical Criticized for da Vinci Marketing

Elsey’s da Vinci surgical robot suit comes amid increasing concerns across the country about the safety of robotic surgery. The da Vinci surgical system is a robot with four arms controlled remotely by a surgeon viewing a virtual representation of the patient’s internal organs, and the device is commonly used in a number of different surgical procedures, including hysterectomies. Although robotic surgery has become more widely used in recent years, the da Vinci surgical system has been linked to a number of serious side effects recently, and its manufacturer, Intuitive Surgical, has been criticized for aggressively marketing the device and failing to provide proper training for surgeons using the robots.

Possible Side Effects of Robotic Surgery

According to the findings of a study presented in November 2013 at the 42nd AGL Global Congress on Minimally Invasive Gynecology, 21% of injuries associated with the da Vinci surgical robot involved operator error, while 14% of injuries were associated with device failure. Although Elsey did not name da Vinci maker Intuitive Surgical as a defendant in her lawsuit, the manufacturing company faces a growing number of complaints brought on behalf of consumers who have suffered complications like burns, tears and other internal injuries during surgery. Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall of about 1,400 da Vinci systems, indicating that the robot’s arms could stall during surgery, possibly putting patients at unnecessary risk of injury.

Posted Under: Da Vinci Surgery, Legal, News
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