A tropical wave is moving from the Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico. The circulation is over land right now, but it is worth watching as it pushes west. It is not likely anything will develop untilmore>>
Dolly has developed in the southern Gulf of Mexico, but not a threat to the northern Gulf coast.more>>
Event planners seem to no longer be wary of booking in New Orleans during the height of hurricane season. more>>
Event planners seem to no longer be wary of booking in New Orleans during the height of hurricane season. The traditionally slow months are transforming with the return of some big-name conventions. more>>
Labor Day is the official end of the summer season, and it's been known as the last day to wear white.more>>
Labor Day is the official end of the summer season, and it's been known as a stopping point for wearing white.more>>
New Orleans, La. -
Natalie Breaux was 40 when she had minor surgery in Baton Rouge. Doctors used the da Vinci Surgical System to perform what its makers call "minimally invasive" robotic surgery.
It was successful and she went home. But seven days later, she was admitted to Terrebonne General with raging complications.
Hugh Lambert is her family's attorney "They immediately opened her up and found extensive fecal contamination in her peritoneal cavity. She remained in intensive care for several weeks and finally died," Lambert said. "The problem was not the surgeon, not the hospital, but the errant electricity. It caused this thermal injury to her colon."
It's the same kind of problems spelled out in an urgent medical notification, sent out by da Vinci maker Intuitive Surgical this week. The scissor end of the shaft used for operations, Intuitive admits, could create a pathway for an electro-surgical charge.
"From every state in the union I have thousands of cases," said Danny Becnel, the lead counsel on 2,000 lawsuits across the country. "The evidence was mounting and they come out with a urgent warning letter that says errant electricity happens."
The new notification bolsters the case his team of lawyers has been working on for over a year.
The warning Intuitive Surgical sent out concerns 2009-2010 models.
"A very experienced physician who has done 50 to 150 procedures probably wouldn't have as much of a chance to have errant electricity zap something, but that's not who they market it to," Becnel said.
Dr. Raju Thomas is a Tulane surgeon who has used the da Vinci robot since 2002. He says he's had success.
"Each operating room has to be responsible for checking their instruments. And to say it's the company is not fair. Each operating room has to be responsible for checking the instrument," Thomas said.
Attorneys say the harm has been done in Natalie's case and many other cases of injury. They say it justifies fighting for justice.
"It absolutely is what killed Natalie and what it means is it's going to be a lot easier for us to prove our case, because the manufacturer see it's a problem," Lambert said.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:07 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:07:52 GMT
Labor Day weekend has a special significance for alligator hunters in Mississippi. A few days into the start of this year's hunting season, a record-setting 756-pound gator was caught by Robert Mahaffeymore>>
Labor Day weekend has a special significance for alligator hunters in Mississippi. A few days into the start of this year's hunting season, a record-setting 756-pound gator was caught by Robert Mahaffey of Brandon in the first weekend of the season.more>>
For some, it may be hard to believe that nine years have passed since Hurricane Katrina made landfall and left major devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi. Most people will never forget where theymore>>
Friday marks nine years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, causing major devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi.more>>
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online.more>>
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online. Friends and family of a Pascagoula kindergarten student have created a Facebook page and GoFundMe.com account claiming the girl was attacked on the playground this week by another student.more>>