Da Vinci Robot Recall

For those of you jumping for joy, it’s not quite the recall some Plaintiffs’ attorneys are looking for. Intuitive Surgical has issued a recall for approximately 30 da Vinci surgery robots that may not have been properly tested before being distributed.

The recall was posted last week by the FDA when it was discovered that the factory testing may not have been in compliance with UL standards, after one of the testing devices was found to be malfunctioning.davinciclaims

The recall has been categorized as a “class 2 recall” meaning that the use of the product only involves a remote possibility of serious adverse health consequences, and that any problems encountered would likely be temporary or medically reversible. Too bad we can’t say that for all of the da Vinci robotic concerns.

The FDA began reviewing the safety of the da Vinici robot in January of this year as problems with the device continued to grow, as did the number of liability lawsuits being filed.

The future of the da Vinci Robot remains to be seen, but if the sales for the second quarter of 2013 are any indication, Intuitive Surgical is in for a rough ride.  The reported sales came in well under prior estimates.  At a cost of $2 million, Intuitive is used to seeing sales of about 150 devices a quarter.  Somehow, I don’t think Intuitive can afford to make these kinds of mistakes. I think ultimately they will be okay. They will make a better product and their share price will soar again. But they are paying for the mistakes they have made. They are going to pay later but those errors have probably already baked into their current stock price.

Reading back over this post again it sounds like I’m pushing think da Vinci should recall this product.  I really don’t.  Sometimes, as plaintiffs’ lawyers, we are the man with a hammer who sees everything as a nail.  I don’t think this is an awful product.  I think it is flawed and I think it has been overused.  But they can make it better and it might some day make a real difference for people without so much painful byproduct.

Let’s go on to the next question. Is it overly exploiting a recall of 30 of these? How about repeating the “R” word over and over? Probably a little. No one would be blogging about this other than attorneys like us who are writing about and targeting these cases and this is certainly not a federal case, at least not in the vernacular. But does this show a pattern of not having your act together? I think it does.