According to the law firm press release, Intuitive manufactures robotic surgical systems, most notably the da Vinci Surgical System, which allows laparoscopic surgery to be performed remotely using robotic manipulators.
The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, defendants issued a series of materially false and misleading statements highlighting the purported safety and effectiveness of the da Vinci Surgical System, while concomitantly announcing quarter after quarter of record financial results. As a result of defendants’ efforts to conceal significant safety and efficacy problems with the da Vinci Surgical System and their false statements concerning the Company’s business metrics and financial prospects, Intuitive stock traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period, reaching a Class Period high of nearly $595 per share in intraday trading by April 18, 2012. While the Company’s stock was artificially inflated during the Class Period, the Company’s senior executives sold close to 410,000 shares of their personally held Intuitive stock for proceeds of more than $218.6 million.
On March 5, 2013, Bloomberg ran an expose disclosing that its review of pleadings in at least ten lawsuits filed against Intuitive during the prior 14 months and FDA adverse incident reports had uncovered that robotic surgical systems made by Intuitive had been linked to at least 70 deaths in informal incident reports sent to the FDA since 2009. Then, on April 18, 2013, CNBC’s Investigations, Inc. broadcast an expose on the da Vinci Surgical System consisting of interviews with, among others, doctors, lawyers, and patients who have filed lawsuits against Intuitive claiming they suffered injury while being operated on by surgeons using the da Vinci Surgical System. In response to this news, the price of Intuitive stock fell $8.62 per share to close at $484.75 per share on April 19, 2013, down nearly 19% from its Class Period high of $595 per share.
According to the complaint, the true facts, which were known or recklessly disregarded by defendants but concealed from the investing public during the Class Period, included that defects in the da Vinci Surgical System had caused a substantial number of patient injuries, not all of which were being reported to the FDA, such that there was a substantial risk that the FDA might limit or restrict sales and marketing of the da Vinci Surgical System, and that Intuitive was engaging in sales practices that violated community standards and their own protocol agreed upon with the FDA, exposing the Company to criminal and civil sanctions.
On August 16, 2013, the Plaintiff filed a Notice voluntarily dismissing the related action 13-cv-2365. The Court granted this Notice in an Order issued on August 20.
Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on October 15, 2013.
On November 18, 2013, the Court issued an Order appointing lead plaintiff and approving the selection of lead counsel.
On August 21, 2014, the Court issued an Order granting in part and denying in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.