Da Vinci Robot Shares Fall Amid Reports of Injury and Death

Staff Writer | October 17th, 2013

Da Vinci Robot Surgery Deaths in NYStock watchdog Citron Research has published a revealing indictment of Intuitive Surgical, the company behind the controversial da Vinci robot. It puts a new share value of $200 on Intuitive’s stock, and claims the price is ‘overly generous to a company we can genuinely argue is not investable til it gets its house in order.’

The share price fell from $250 following a spate of bad publicity that has plagued the company, and a string of da Vinci surgical robot lawsuits that has left its reputation sorely damaged. This year, Intutive’s total revenue is predicted to be $575 million – around $55 million less than earlier projections. Their stock value dropped 18% after the publication of the sales figures. According to the Citron report:

“Wall Street analysts are making dire predictions about the future of Intuitive’s technology… new sales will ‘flatline’ as more people come forward with allegations of complications caused by the system.”

As the popularity of robotic surgery has grown, an increasing number of people have complained that it may not be as safe as previously thought. Patients allege burns, perforated organs and infections were caused by the technology, which is comprised of four metal arms, operated remotely by surgeons with hand and foot controls. Surgeons work to a virtual representation of the patient’s interior. The system was promoted by Intuitive as a superior, less invasive form of surgery.

Da Vinci surgical robot lawsuits on the rise

According to a recent report put together by NBC, the FDA has received more than 200 reports of complications with the da Vinci system since 2007. In May 2013, a Washington state court returned a defense verdict in the first lawsuit to reach trial.

A CNBC report cited the case of a woman who suffered a laceration to a main artery during a hysterectomy. She died 13 days later. Her father has filed a lawsuit alleging his daughter’s death was caused by the da Vinci robot.

Questions have also been raised about inadequate training given to surgeons, and critics have expressed concern that the widespread uptake of the technology is driven more by its high-tech appeal than by any regard for patient safety. A government report published in January 2013 indicated that robotically assisted hysterectomies has similar rates of morbidity as traditional hysterectomies, but incurs ‘substantially more costs.’ The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists condemned the use of robotic hysterectomies.

The Citron report states:

“Nearly 400,000 robotic-assisted surgeries were performed last year, according to Intuitive’s figures. A study published in February in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated the da Vinci system’s use in hysterectomies rose from 0.5% in 2007, to 9.5% in 2010.”

Da Vinci robotsurgery deaths in NY

Plaintiffs in New York and across the country are claiming Intuitive failed to warn about the risks associated with the da Vinci system. Some allege that Intuitive offers inadequate training to surgeons on how to use the device.

If you have suffered as a result of the da Vinci system, you may be eligible for compensation.  Our attorneys have experience dealing with da Vinci robot surgery deaths in NY, and are well-acquainted with the current litigation against Intuitive. To find out if you have grounds to file a lawsuit, contact The Sanders Firm at 1-800 FAIR PLAY for a free case evaluation.


  1. Citron Research - Intuitive Surgical Maude Update: http://www.citronresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Intuitive-Surgical-Oct-2013-Maude-Update-Final.pdf

  2. CNBC -Patients scarred after robotic surgery http://www.cnbc.com/id/100652694