WASHINGTON, June 23 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday imposed a new hurdle on shareholder class actions against publicly traded companies, but it also declined to overturn a key precedent that favors plaintiffs in such cases.
The business community has been keen to limit shareholder actions in part because the cases can lead to multi-billion- dollar settlements.
Around 200 shareholder class actions are filed every year alleging that misleading statements and material omissions made by companies and their executives caused a stock's share price to drop.
Monday's ruling enables defendants, at the preliminary class certification stage, to introduce evidence on the lack of price impact of an alleged misrepresentation.
The top five biggest settlements, according to the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse, are:
1. Enron Corp (2008), $7.2 billion.
2. WorldCom Inc (2010), $6.1 billion.
3. Tyco International Ltd (2013), $3.2 billion.
4. Cendant Corp (2000), $3.19 billion.
5. Nortel Networks Corp (20007), $2.9 billion.
(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller)