Surge in Securities Class Action Filings

Securities class action litigation surged to a six-year high in 2008 amid the ongoing credit crisis and turmoil in the financial sector. According to a just released report by NERA Economic Consulting as of 14 December 2008, 255 cases were filed of which 43 percent, or 110, were related to the credit crisis. While filings have steadily increased from 2006 through 2008, NERA reports that median settlement values have remained relatively stable. The 2008 median settlement resolved for $7.5 million, below the 2007 median of $9.4 million, but above the 2006 median settlement of $7 million. While it is too early to tell what impact the surge in credit crisis filings may have on future settlement values, the authors note that two outcomes are possible: either average and median settlement sizes will grow in the future as credit crisis cases begin to be resolved, or the financial distress faced by defendant companies could pull median settlement values down. More analysis of the NERA findings can be found at The D&O Diary, a blog focused on D&O liability issues.

One thought on “Surge in Securities Class Action Filings”

  1. I wonder if companies (and their D&O insurers) will use the “everybody is doing it” defense – that is, the boards of individual companies can’t be found negligent, because financial companies are getting equally hammered by the economy and the market.

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