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Rustico v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Docket: 20-15009

Opinion Date: April 6, 2021

Judge: Carlos T. Bea

Areas of Law: Personal Injury, Products Liability

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Intuitive Surgical, the designer and manufacturer of the da Vinci surgical robot, in a product liability action brought by the plaintiff and her husband, holding that the action was time-barred under California’s two-year statute of limitations under California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1. The panel concluded that the two-year California—not three-year Connecticut—statute of limitations applies to the plaintiff’s claim. The panel explained that, although the district court erred by failing to consider whether Connecticut had a legitimate interest in seeing its law applied, the district court correctly held that California’s statute of limitations governs the claims. The panel also concluded that the Tolling Agreement does not render the plaintiff’s claims timely. In this case, because the Tolling Agreement expressly preserved Intuitive’s statute-of-limitations defense for “the applicable” jurisdiction, Intuitive is entitled to employ its statute-of-limitations defense under California law. Finally, the panel concluded that equitable estoppel did not apply to the plaintiff’s claims where she failed to submit evidence identifying a misrepresentation, material omission, or false promise made on behalf of Intuitive.

This case law update is brought to you by Freeway Law, personal injury, and auto car accident lawyers. The following is not one of our cases, but it is of some significance, and we thought we should share it with our readers for informational purposes. The information above is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.

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