Robots are used to make a wide variety of tasks around the home and on the job easier to complete. However, when the robots fail and injure or kill someone, Louisiana residents should know that this can result in the filing of product liability claims.
The number of accidents caused by robotic systems is expected to rise each year due to the significant increase in the use of the systems. For example, surgeons are able to use robots to conduct procedures, which allows them to make smaller cuts using smaller instruments. The robotic systems can also be used to conduct remote surgery, eliminating the need for doctors to be in the same room as their patients.
Processing claims in which robots are defendants should be a possibility for which claims handlers should be prepared. In 2016, a woman filed a $30 million product liability suit against a company whose robotic surgical systems allegedly caused extreme internal injuries during a bungled hysterectomy. Both parties agreed to a private settlement on the third day of jury deliberations.
A significant percentage of the injuries and fatalities related to robotic systems occur when there is unscheduled maintenance because something has stopped working correctly. A majority of maintenance and troubleshooting tasks require that the power to the robotic cells remain on. Adequate training is necessary to make sure that all personnel are aware of the hazards that are present when the equipment is in this state.
Individuals who sustain workplace injuries because of unsafe working conditions may have cause to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. However, in the event that the injury was caused by a defective piece of equipment, an attorney might recommend in some cases the separate filing of a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer.