In Robot Surgeons vs. Lawyers, a Win for the Machines

Intuitive Surgical's da Vinci Surgical System Photograph by Todd Tankersley

Intuitive Surgical, a maker of robotic instruments used in prostate operations, hysterectomies, and other surgeries, has successfully defended itself in the first of more than two dozen lawsuits alleging injuries caused by the ministrations of the machines. On Thursday, a jury in Port Orchard, Wash., cleared the company and its da Vinci Surgical System in the death of Fred Taylor, who underwent robo-surgery in 2008 and died about four years later from complications linked to a half-dozen subsequent procedures.

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