ISS Discusses the Largest U.S. Securities Class-Action Settlements by State

Since its inception, ISS Securities Class Action Services LLC (“ISS SCAS”) has tracked more than 13,000 shareholder class actions across the world, including 12,000+ cases within the United States. In this report, ISS SCAS closely examines the largest securities class action settlements by U.S. state, as well as the District of Columbia.

In the first edition of this report, published in 2018, ISS SCAS identified 48 cases as the largest securities class action settlements, by total settlement amount and by state. In this updated version, ISS SCAS provides a refresh of the data, including recently settled cases that now meet the high bar of the largest settlement by state. Additionally, ancillary charts are included to provide greater insight into the firms involved within securities litigation.

Of the largest cases by state, key highlights include:

  • The 49 settlements[1] total $32.5 billion (or an average of $663.4 million);
  • Seven (7) states had settlements valued at $1 billion or higher;
  • Only one (1) state had its largest settlement valued at less than $10 million;
  • Three (3) states – Alaska, Hawaii, and Wyoming – have yet to experience a class action settlement within their Federal court dockets;
  • 2016 saw the largest quantity of settlements.

The most active lead plaintiff law firms from the 49 listed settlements include Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd[2] with 19 cases worth a total of $13.18 billion, and Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann with 13 cases worth a total of $12.96 billion. The notation of these two firms at the top of the list is not surprising, Robbins Geller and Bernstein Litowitz often rank in the top of ISS SCAS’ “The Top 50” annual report of lead plaintiff firms.

In terms of managing investor claims and disbursing funds from these 49 settlements, the most active Claims Administrator is Gilardi & Co. with 20 cases, including two billion-dollar settlements (Enron in Texas and Household International in Illinois). The second leading Claims Administrator is Epiq Systems[3] with 12 cases, including three billion-dollar settlements (WorldCom in New York, Tyco International in New Hampshire, and Royal Ahold in Maryland).

The largest case not included within this report remains the $3 billion Petrobras settlement, the fifth largest of all-time, as the settlement occurred in New York, thus slotted behind the state’s all-time largest settlement, WorldCom. In fact, of the 16 all-time settlements to surpass $1 billion, 50 percent took place within the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

For more information on both the largest federal and state cases, plus SEC Disgorgements, please see ISS SCAS’ The Top 100 U.S. Settlements of All-Time report.

METHODOLOGY

This report illustrates the largest securities class action settlements, by total settlement amount, within each of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. It provides information on the company name, settlement date, state of settlement, and the total settlement fund. The ISS Securities Class Action Services “Largest Settlements by State” report does not include non-U.S. cases, antitrust cases, state court cases, nor SEC disgorgements.

For cases with multiple partial settlements, the amount indicated in the total settlement amount is computed by combining all partial settlements. The settlement date reflects the year of the most recent settlement receiving final approval from the court. Cases in the “Largest Settlements by State” report are limited to those that were initially filed in Federal court on or after January 1, 1996. Only court approved settlements are included. Lastly, the state in which the settlement appears is based upon the court location of the case, not necessarily the location of the company’s headquarters.

LARGEST SETTLEMENTS BY STATE

State Settlement Name Settlement Date Total Settlement Amount
Alabama HealthSouth Corp. 11-Jan-07 $804,500,000
Arizona First Solar, Inc. 30-Jun-20 $350,000,000
Arkansas Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 08-Apr-19 $160,0000,000
California McKesson HBOC Inc. 27-Jan-06 $1,052,000,000
Colorado Qwest Communications International, Inc. 29-Sep-06 $445,000,000
Connecticut Xerox Corp. 14-Jan-09 $750,000,000
District of Columbia Federal National Mortgage Assoc. (Fannie Mae) 06-Dec-13 $153,000,000
Delaware DaimlerChrysler AG 05-Feb-04 $300,000,000
Florida WellCare Health Plans, Inc. 04-May-11 $200,000,000
Georgia Equifax, Inc. 26-Junt-20 $149,000,000
Idaho Micron Technology, Inc. 28-Apr-11 $42,000,000
Illinois Household International, Inc. 20-Oct-16 $1,575,000,000
Indiana Conseco, Inc. 07-Aug-02 $120,000,000
Iowa McLeodUSA, Inc. 29-Nov-06 $30,000,000
Kansas Sprint Nextel Corporation 12-Aug-15 $131,000,000
Kentucky Fruit of the Loom, Inc. 03-Mar-06 $23,200,000
Louisiana Amedisys, Inc. 20-Dec-17 $43,750,000
Maine UnumProvident Corp. 28-Jun-02 $45,000,000
Maryland Royal Ahold, N.V. 16-Jun-06 $1,100,000,000
Massachusetts Raytheon Company 06-Dec-04 $460,000,000
Michigan General Motors Corp. 06-Jan-09 $303,000,000
Minnesota UnitedHealth Group, Inc. 23-Sep-09 $925,500,000
Mississippi Mobile Telecommunication Technologies Corp. 06-Nov-98 $10,000,000
Missouri BankAmerica Corp. 16-Apr-04 $490,000,000
Montana Montana Power Company 20-May-10 $39,280,000
Nebraska Transcrypt International, Inc. 27-Mar-00 $31,145,200
Nevada MGM Mirage 01-Mar-16 $75,000,000
New Hampshire Tyco International, Ltd. 19-Dec-07 $3,200,000,000
New Jersey Cendant Corp. 28-Jun-00 $3,319,350,000
New Mexico Horizon/CMS Healthcare Corp. 12-Sep-97 $20,000,000
New York WorldCom, Inc. 09-Sep-05 $6,194,100,714
North Carolina Duke Energy Corporation 02-Nov-15 $146,250,000
North Dakota North Dakota Developments, LLC 24-Aug-16 $5,100,000
Ohio Cardinal Health, Inc. 14-Nov-07 $600,000,000
Oklahoma Williams Companies, Inc. 12-Feb-07 $311,000,000
Oregon Sunwest Enterprise 09-Feb-11 $52,500,000
Pennsylvania Rite Aid Corp. 06-Apr-01 $319,580,000
Rhode Island CVS Caremark Corp. 29-Feb-16 $48,000,000
South Carolina Safety-Kleen Corp. 31-May-05 $197,622,944
South Dakota NorthWestern Corp. 13-Jan-05 $40,190,000
Tennessee HCA Holdings, Inc. 14-Apr-16 $215,000,000
Texas Enron Corp. 24-May-06 $7,242,000,000
Utah Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. 13-Oct-16 $47,000,000
Vermont Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. 22-Oct-18 $36,500,000
Virginia Genworth Financial, Inc. 26-Sep-16 $219,000,000
Washington Washington Mutual, Inc. 04-Nov-11 $216,750,000
West Virginia Massey Energy Company 04-Jun-14 $265,000,000
Wisconsin Jay Global, Inc.

Roadrunner Transportation Systems, Inc.

27-Dec-18

26-Sep-19

$20,000,000

$20,000,000

NOTES

  • Includes only cases with a filing date post PSLRA.
  • Includes Federal securities class action litigation settlements only (not SEC Disgorgements or State cases or Antitrust cases).
  • The case listing is based upon largest settlement in the court location (not the company’s headquarters).
  • Settlement totals include cash (and non-cash amounts, if applicable) and may also include multiple defendants — where settlements with similar allegations have occurred.
  • No securities class action settlements have occurred in Alaska, Hawaii, and Wyoming.

ENDNOTES

[1] The 49 settlements come from 47 states and the District of Columbia (Wisconsin has two settlements listed within this report – due to a tie).

[2] Includes predecessor firms Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins and Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins.

[3] Includes Garden City Group, which Epiq acquired in June 2018.

This post comes to us from Institutional Shareholder Services. It is based on the firm’s report, “The Largest U.S. Settlements by State,” dated as of July 1, 2021.

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