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Class-Action Suits Get Fatter at the Middle

Melissa Klein Aguilar | April 8, 2008

Corporate executives and their counsel, take note: While soaring average and total settlement amounts in recent years have been making headlines—driven by a small number of extremely large cases—the latest data show that the largely ignored mid-range settlements are packing a pretty big punch as well. That’s according to the latest data on securities class action settlements in 2007, compiled by Cornerstone Research.

Middle-range settlements—defined in the report as those worth $10 million to $20 million—made up a bigger piece of the settlement pie last year, accounting for nearly 25 percent of the total, compared with just over 10 percent in 2006. The result was a spike in the median settlement to a record high of $9 million, up from $6.9 million for the years 1996 through 2006.

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