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There are many different medical issues that may force a Cleveland patient to have surgery. Whether it is something relatively minor or something that could potentially be life saving, there are risks associated with surgery. A skilled Cleveland surgeon can navigate those risks, however, and safely perform the operation. Yet, when he or she makes a mistake during surgery, he or she can seriously or fatally injure a patient.

But for the family of a man who died from complications from a prostatectomy in 2008, they are hoping a jury will find the robotics company Intuitive Surgical Inc. responsible for their loved one’s death, not the surgeon. They claim that the company is the one responsible for the man’s death, as it failed to provide sufficient training to the doctors using their equipment.

The company makes the da Vinci robotic system, a series of robotic arms that perform complex surgical operations. While a surgeon is in the room during the procedure, he or she is a few feet from the patient. He or she uses a 3D camera and a set of computer displays, hand controls and foot pedals to control the arms’ movements and the fine task of operating on a patient.

The problem that the family alleges, however, is that the surgeon only needed a one-day instructional program to learn how to use the robots. He was supervised in two surgeries before being given permission to use the robotic arms alone. The patient that died was that surgeon’s first unsupervised robotic surgery.

The surgeon discovered that an unsupervised surgery was quite difficult and  after seven hours of operation finally chose to operate manually.