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Intuitive's first robot-surgery trial to probe training

Bloomberg, April 17, 2013

Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG), a maker of surgical robots used in more than 300,000 U.S. operations last year, faces its first trial over claims it marketed the devices to doctors without providing adequate training. A state court jury in Port Orchard, Washington, is scheduled to hear opening arguments tomorrow afternoon about whether Intuitive properly trained a physician who, in his first unassisted surgery using the company's da Vinci surgical system, removed the prostate gland of a patient who later died. After seven hours of robotic surgery in September 2008, complications developed and the physician, Scott Bildsten, and other doctors turned to traditional surgery and then emergency care to repair a rectal laceration.