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Case Style: Estate of Fred E. Taylor v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
Case Number: 09-2-03136-5
Court: Superior Court, Kitsap County, Washington
Plaintiff's Attorney: Richard Friedman
Description: The Family and Estate of Fred Taylor sued Intuitive Surgical, Inc. on a negligence theory claiming that it failed to exercise due care in the training to surgeon Scott Bildsten and, as a direct result, Mr. Taylor suffered a rectal tear during a prostate surgery.
The estate of Mr. Taylor alleged the man's surgeon hadn't been properly trained in performing prostate removals with the da Vinci machine. The September 2008 surgery was the first unassisted procedure performed by the lead surgeon using the da Vinci machine, and Mr. Taylor died four years later as a result of resulting complications, including a rectal injury, the plaintiffs alleged.
The doctor and hospital settled with the family for an undisclosed sum.
Intuitive Surgical blamed Dr. Taylor claiming that he had been told not to use the machine on obese patients. It also claimed that that the injury sustained by Mr. Taylor occurred after the machine had been turned off and Dr. Taylor had switched back to traditional surgical methods.
The Intuitive lawsuit raised questions about marketing and training for the $2 million da Vinci robots. About 2,000 of them are in operating rooms.
Outcome: Defendant's verdict.