NEW YORK, June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Bernstein Liebhard LLP today announced that a class action has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of all those who purchased shares of Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISRG) ("Intuitive" or the "Company") between October 19, 2011 and April 18, 2013, inclusive (the "Class Period").
The complaint charges Intuitive and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. 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 also 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 on 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 disclosed that its review of pleadings in at least ten lawsuits filed against Intuitive during the prior 14 months, as well as 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 a segment 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 robotic surgery complications, 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. Plaintiffs seek to recover damages on behalf of all Class members who invested in Intuitive shares during the Class Period. If you invested in Intuitive shares as described above during the Class Period, and either lost money on the transaction or still hold the stock, you may wish to join in this action to serve as lead plaintiff. In order to do so, you must meet certain requirements set forth in the applicable law and file appropriate papers no later than June 25, 2013. A "lead plaintiff" is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the court must determine that the class member's claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as lead plaintiff. Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. You may retain Bernstein Liebhard LLP, or other counsel of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this action.