|INTUITIVE SURGICAL INC filed this Form 10-K on 02/02/2018|
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to plaintiffs’ motion, along with an independent motion to strike the amended complaint and the pleadings from which plaintiffs’ local counsel withdrew their signatures. Following additional briefing, the motion for leave to amend and motion to strike were fully submitted to the court on November 23, 2016, and December 7, 2016, respectively. On December 22, 2016, the court entered an order granting plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. On January 5, 2017, the Company filed a Petition for Permission to Appeal from the order granting class certification in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On October 30, 2017, the court of appeals denied the Company’s petition. On January 12, 2017, plaintiffs sought leave to file a motion for partial reconsideration of the court’s class certification order, which the court granted on March 17, 2017. Plaintiffs filed the motion for reconsideration itself on April 3, 2017, and the Company filed its opposition on April 17, 2017. The court denied the motion on September 29, 2017. On January 25, 2017, the court entered an order granting plaintiffs’ motion for leave to amend the complaint and denying the Company’s motion to strike. On February 9, 2017, the Company moved to dismiss the amended complaint. Following opposition and reply briefing, the matter was fully submitted to the court on March 2, 2017. The court denied the motion on September 29, 2017. On July 13, 2017, the parties filed a stipulation vacating the case schedule, which the court entered on July 14, 2017. On November 8, 2017, the court entered a new case schedule, with trial set to begin on October 30, 2018. While the Company intends to vigorously defend itself, the actual outcome of this matter is dependent on many variables that are difficult to predict. Based on currently available information, the Company is unable to make a reasonable estimate of loss or range of losses, if any, arising from this matter.
Purported Derivative Actions filed on February 3, 2014, February 21, 2014, March 21, 2014, June 3, 2014, and March 5, 2015
On February 3, 2014, an alleged stockholder, Robert Berg, caused a purported stockholder’s derivative lawsuit entitled Berg v. Guthart et al., No. 4:14-CV-00515, to be filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit named the Company as a nominal defendant and named a number of the Company’s current and former officers and directors as defendants. The plaintiff sought to recover, on the Company’s behalf, unspecified damages purportedly sustained by the Company in connection with allegedly misleading statements and/or omissions made in connection with the Company’s financial reporting for the period between 2012 and early 2014. The plaintiff also sought a series of changes to the Company’s corporate governance policies and an award of attorneys’ fees. On April 3, 2014, the case was related to In re Intuitive Surgical Securities Litigation. On July 30, 2014, the court granted Berg’s motion to be appointed lead plaintiff, denied the City of Birmingham’s motion seeking such appointment (see below for additional description), and retitled the matter In re Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 4:14-CV-00515. On August 13, 2014, the plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint, making allegations substantially similar to the allegations in the original complaint. On September 12, 2014, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the consolidated complaint, which the court denied on November 16, 2015. On January 26, 2016, the Company moved to stay this lawsuit in favor of Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago v. Guthart et al. (see below for additional description). While the motion was pending, the Company and the plaintiff agreed in principle that the plaintiff would file a motion to intervene in the Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago action. Following additional negotiations, the plaintiff filed an unopposed motion to intervene on April 29, 2016. After additional briefing, on May 23, 2016, the court in the Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago action granted the motion. Accordingly, on May 31, 2016, the parties filed a stipulation requesting that the court stay In re Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, which the court granted on June 2, 2016. Additional discussions between the parties ensued, and on September 15, 2016, they executed a confidential Memorandum of Understanding that contained the essential terms of a settlement to which the parties agreed in principle. That settlement, as later finalized, provided for a dismissal with prejudice and release of all claims brought in both the In re Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation action and the Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago action, as well as City of Plantation Police Officers’ Employees’ Retirement System v. Guthart et al. (see below for additional description). The settlement, which also included terms that required the Company to reimburse the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ legal fees, was approved by the court in the Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago action on October 20, 2017, following the notice process described below. Accordingly, on December 26, 2017, the parties in the In re Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation action filed a stipulation requesting that the court dismiss the action with prejudice. The court entered the stipulation later the same day, and the matter is now resolved.
On February 21, 2014, a second alleged stockholder caused a substantially similar purported stockholder’s derivative lawsuit entitled Public School Teachers’ Pension and Retirement Fund of Chicago v. Guthart et al., No. CIV 526930, to be filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Mateo, against the same parties and seeking the same relief. On March 26, 2014, the case was removed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, where it was related to In re Intuitive Surgical Securities Litigation and Berg v. Guthart on April 30, 2014. The district court remanded the case back to San Mateo County Superior Court on June 30, 2014. On August 28, 2014, the Company filed a motion seeking to stay the case in favor of the federal action and asking that the plaintiff be required to post a bond on the grounds that the action was duplicative and was not in the Company’s best interests. On November 13, 2014, the superior court entered an order denying in part the Company’s motion to stay and denying the Company’s request for plaintiff’s bond. On November 18, 2014, the Company petitioned the First Appellate District of the California, Court of Appeal for a writ of mandate directing the superior court to stay the case in its entirety. At the same time, the Company requested an immediate stay of proceedings pending resolution of the petition. On
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