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U.S. Surgical Corp. (USSC), Norwalk, Conn., faces yet another series of hurdles as the company's finances deteriorate further, sales continue to drop and a jury rules against USSC's claim that Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon Endo-Surgery division infringed upon its patent.
USSC said the outcome of the lawsuit will have little, if any, effect on the company. "U.S. Surgical entered into it with everything to win and nothing to lose," said USSC spokesman Steve Rose. However, some analysts believe USSC was depending upon a favorable outcome in the case so the damage award could offset some of the company's cash problems. That is why, analysts believe, USSC delayed its announcement of the company's problems until a verdict was reached in the suit.
Analysts estimate that USSC maintained a 75% share of the $700 million disposable LIS instrument market in late 1992 and early 1993. Within nine months, Cincinnati-based Ethicon Endo-Surgery took a 10% slice of the market away from USSC, and many believe that Ethicon Endo-Surgery has made further inroads since then, despite USSC's lawsuit.
Although wounded after coping with nearly a year of financial difficulties, USSC still …