|INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC filed this Form 10-K on 02/02/2018|
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personal injuries and/or death as a result of purported product defects, the alleged failure to warn, and/or the alleged inadequate training by us of physicians regarding the use of the da Vinci Surgical System. The individuals who have brought the product liability claims seek recovery for their alleged personal injuries and in many cases, punitive damages. Current product liability claims have resulted in negative publicity regarding our Company, and these and any other product liability or negligence claims or product recalls also could harm our reputation. Please see our risk factor below titled “Negative Publicity, Whether Accurate or Inaccurate, Concerning Our Products or Our Company Could Reduce Market Acceptance of Our Products and Could Result in Decreased Product Demand and a Decline in Revenues” for additional risks related to the potential effects of negative publicity on our business.
The outcome of these product liability claims and other legal proceedings cannot be predicted with certainty. We currently self-insure our product liability risk and maintain third-party insurance coverage for certain other liabilities. However, we cannot determine whether our insurance coverage from third-party carriers, or our self-insurance of product liability risk, would be sufficient to cover the costs or potential losses related to these lawsuits and proceedings or otherwise be excluded under the terms of any third-party policy. Regardless of merit, litigation may be both time-consuming and disruptive to our operations and cause significant legal costs (including settlements, judgments, legal fees, and other related defense costs) and diversion of management attention. If we do not prevail in the purported class actions and derivative lawsuits, product liability litigation, or other legal proceedings, we may be faced with significant monetary damages or injunctive relief against us that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows.
NEGATIVE PUBLICITY, WHETHER ACCURATE OR INACCURATE, CONCERNING OUR PRODUCTS OR OUR COMPANY COULD REDUCE MARKET ACCEPTANCE OF OUR PRODUCTS AND COULD RESULT IN DECREASED PRODUCT DEMAND AND A DECLINE IN REVENUES.
There have been articles published and papers written questioning patient safety and efficacy associated with da Vinci Surgery, the cost of da Vinci Surgery relative to other disease management methods, and the adequacy of surgeon training. Negative publicity, including statements made by public officials, whether accurate or inaccurate, concerning our products or our Company could reduce market acceptance of our products and could result in decreased product demand and a decline in revenues. In addition, significant negative publicity could result in an increased number of product liability claims, regardless of whether these claims are meritorious. The number of claims could be further increased by plaintiffs’ law firms that use a wide variety of media to advertise their services and solicit clients for product liability cases against us.
WE ARE SUBJECT TO SIGNIFICANT, UNINSURED LIABILITIES.
For certain risks, we do not maintain insurance coverage because of cost and/or availability. For example, we self-insure our product liability risks and we indemnify our directors and officers for third-party claims and do not carry insurance to cover that indemnity or the related underlying losses. We also do not carry, among other types of coverage, earthquake, and cyber insurance. In addition, in the future, we may not continue to maintain certain existing insurance coverage or adequate levels of coverage. Premiums for many types of insurance have increased significantly in recent years, and depending on market conditions and our circumstances, in the future, certain types of insurance such as directors’ and officers’ insurance may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all. Because we retain some portion of our insurable risks, and in some cases we are self-insured completely, unforeseen or catastrophic losses in excess of insurance coverage could require us to pay substantial amounts, which may have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows.
WE MAY ENCOUNTER MANUFACTURING PROBLEMS OR DELAYS THAT COULD RESULT IN LOST REVENUE.
Manufacturing our products is a complex process. We (or our critical suppliers) may encounter difficulties in scaling up or maintaining production of our products, including:
If demand for our products exceeds our manufacturing capacity, we could develop a substantial backlog of customer orders. If we are unable to maintain larger-scale manufacturing capabilities, our ability to generate revenues will be limited and our reputation in the marketplace could be damaged, which may have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows.
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