Investors score $4.8 billion in class action suits

Matt Krantz
Lauren Nicole | Digital Vision

The number of shareholder security class action lawsuits soared 57% in 2013 as investors turned to the courts to be made whole from alleged wrongdoing.

During 2013, investors sued for and successful obtained settlements of $4.8 billion, the highest amount since 2007 and a 46% increase from 2012, according to a report issued Thursday by Cornerstone Research. The number of settlements, 67, was up from 57 in 2012.

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A big reason for the sizable jump in settlement values was due to the rise in settlements valued at $100 million or more. There were six such deals during the year.

Much of the increase in mega settlements is still an aftershock from the financial crisis, says Joseph Grundfest, director of the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse. The largest settlements last year were connected with fraud claims connected with mortgage-backed securities activity.

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By Matt Krantz of USA Today