The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has ruled that the four product liability lawsuits filed in federal court against Intuitive Surgical over the da Vinci robot will not be centralized to a single California court. The panel said that the pending litigation was not too numerous or too complex to be handled in separate courts and that the panel was “not persuaded that centralization would service the convenience of the parties and witnesses or further the just and efficient conduct of this litigation.”
The lawsuits each allege that insufficient training, faulty insulation, and stray electrical currents of the da Vinci robot caused patient injury or death. A lawsuit filed by Gwendolyn Jones in Alabama alleges that during her hysterectomy her left ureter and bladder were injured by the da Vinci robot, which she claims could have been avoided if her physicians had been aware of the danger of the da Vinci robot’s monopolar current.
Another lawsuit filed in New York alleges that Kimberly McCalla, 24, died two weeks after her hysterectomy because during the procedure, a stray current from the da Vinci robot burned her intestines and artery.