With no respect to Herb Greenberg, precedent DOES matter in law, and the twentysomething cases lined up after this one will be affected (negatively). If a surgeon does not follow the guidelines provided by an equipment maker, he/she runs 100% of the risk. With respect to Fred Taylor, the unfortunate individual, there was nothing really unique about his case. The Jury decided that ISRG didn't have to pay 1 cent and that decision was rendered in quick order. Having said the above, the upside for MAKO is that not very many cases of orthopedic surgery leads to death as compared to soft tissue. Let's be clear, this is a watershed moment for Robotic Surgery.
Clear. I agree. Over time people will realize the difference in remote, soft tissue surgery and hands on robotic assisted ortho surgery enhanced by haptic feedback and the importance precise placement and intra-operative balancing play in joint replacement. In the meantime, victories for ISRG are victories for MAKO. I believe Fred Taylor's family already reached a settlement with the surgeon/hospital and this was a separate, misguided lawsuit against ISRG.
not sure how you get the news on the board so fast, donknute, but thanks for the heads up! Yeah, this will take a considerable chunk of the indirect overhang off robotic surgery out there in consumer/patient land. The precedent being set IS: if surgeons don't follow recommendations and procedures set by device makers, the primary liability will lie with the surgeon regardless of who has the deepest pockets. After-mkt rally in ISRG should spill over to MAKO and HNSN tomorrow.
Nice pop in ISRG and MAKO after hours albeit on low volume for MAKO. More pending trials for ISRG but they'll win more than they lose and precedents will be set as you mentioned. I still expect the FDA to require a standardized training program ie minimum number of hours and surgeries before flying solo but the surgeons that are daVinci trained are growing in number and recent surveys indicate they won't be turning back. One surgeon likened it to going from driving an edsel to driving a ferrari and stated no way he's going back.