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Securities Class Action Settlement Values Increased in 2016

September 12, 2017
The D&O Diary
By: Kathy VanderVeur

The number of securities class action settlements, as well as the aggregate, average, and median securities class action settlement values, all increased in 2016 compared to the prior year, according to the latest annual report from Cornerstone Research. The report, entitled “Securities Class Action Settlements: 2016 Review and Analysis can be found here.

According to the Cornerstone report, U.S. courts approved 85 securities class action settlements in 2016, which is attributed to the increase in the number of approved settlements to “the recent increase in the number of case filings.” The aggregate value of settlements approved in 2016 was $5.9 billion, nearly double the $3.0 aggregate value of settlements approved in 2015.

Additionally, there were ten “mega” settlements (a mega-settlement is a settlement over $100 million) approved in 2016, which was the highest annual number of mega-settlements in the last ten years. These ten settlements accounted for $4.8 billion (81%) of all of the total $5.9 billion in settlement value in 2016. Two of these settlements exceeded $1 billion, the first billion dollar settlements approved since 2013, and the first time since 2006 with multiple settlements over $1 billion in one year.

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