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Surgical Robots

Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers weigh in on robotic surgery. In the past, if you were injured in surgery by a negligent doctor, your response might have been a medical malpractice lawsuit. With the increased use of surgical robots, you may find that you have a need to sue the robot – or at least, the robot’s manufacturer.

Surgical robots, because they can be steadier and more precise than human surgeons, are often becoming the preferred tool for laparoscopic procedures such as:

  • Coronary artery bypass
  • Excising tumor tissue
  • Gallbladder surgery
  • Artificial hip installation
  • Hysterectomy
  • Kidney removal and transplant.
  • Mitral valve repair

Machine surgical advances have achieved tremendous results for patients. But when the machines are not successful, because humans are involved in the use of these machines, the question of whether negligence played an underlying role in the failure remains.

Because of this, people seeking justice following a botched surgery involving the use of a surgical robot sometimes file suit under both medical malpractice law and products liability law.

Medical Malpractice versus Products Liability

The top manufacturer of surgical robots has already been confronted with lawsuits from hundreds of different parties. Not many of these cases have been resolved in trial at this point. Nevertheless, because there have already been a large number of claims filed, and with the continued and expanded use of surgical robots more are expected, the manufacturer has set aside over $100 million to deal with these suits.

Surgical robots are not yet fully autonomous. As such, a highly-trained surgeon is still operating these complex devices. Because the human factor remains a part of the process, any mistakes in the surgical procedure or other error may still fall under medical malpractice.

However, because the surgical robots are complex machines, they can still be prone to design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects. Anywhere in the process of the design, manufacture, and marketing of the surgical robot something could have gone wrong, leading to a defective medical device and strict liability claim.

How Products Liability Comes into Play

Plaintiffs who have filed suit for products liability claims against surgical robots have contended that the manufacturer failed in any of a number of ways, including:

  • Insufficient testing
  • Failure to report problems to the FDA or to the medical community
  • Advertising without communicating risks
  • Inadequate training of technicians
  • Violation of state consumer protection statutes
  • Lack of informed consent

There are numerous red flag types of offenses in the medical malpractice model. When it comes to the employment of surgical robots, they are equally applicable when it comes to filing a claim for products liability.

Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Assist with Complex Surgical Failure Claims

The Philadelphia products liability lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC have the knowledge and experience to seek justice for you, whether the unsatisfactory outcome from your procedure was due to surgical negligence or a defect in the way the surgical device was designed, manufactured, advertised, or programmed.

For a free and confidential consultation, contact us by phone at 215-569-8488 or use our online form. From our offices in Philadelphia, we represent clients in Delaware County, Chester County, across Pennsylvania and throughout New Jersey and Delaware.