Plaintiffs Patricia and Drennan Mayfield have filed a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to centralize and consolidate all federally filed da Vinci Surgical System product liability lawsuits. The plaintiffs request the MDL be centralized to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi under federal Judge Carlton Wayne Reeves. They chose the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California as an alternate venue, as that is where da Vinci maker Intuitive Surgical is based.
There are currently four lawsuits filed against the da Vinci surgical device in district courts in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and New York, and experts expect that number to grow. These lawsuits allege that design defects and improper training has caused patients to suffer internal injury, and that the manufacturer has failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the risks of complications with the da Vinci surgical device.
The Mayfield’s lawsuit claims that Intuitive Surgical failed to provide hospitals with skilled da Vinci technicians as well as proper physician training, while over-promoting the device as a safe and effective alternative and failing to warn about the risks associated with the device. The lawsuit says that Patricia suffered injury to her bowels and vaginal cuff during a hysterectomy performed with the da Vinci device.
According to the motion, “An estimated four in ten hospital websites in the United States publicize the use of robotic surgery, with the lion’s share touting its clinical superiority despite a lack of scientific evidence that robotic surgery is any better than conventional operations….The hospitals employing this device have outsourced patient education content to the device manufacturer, allowing industry to make claims that are unsubstantiated by the literature.”