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Securities Class Actions Up Thanks to Subprime Mess

American Bar Association News (By Molly McDonough)

After a two-year decrease in filings, federal securities class actions were up in 2007 thanks in large part to subprime-related lawsuits and those against foreign securities issuers. There were 37 subprime cases filed last year, for a total of 23 percent of new securities cases filed. According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers 2007 Securities Litigation Study, three industries were the biggest targets: technology companies, which accounted for 25 percent of securities cases; banking and financial services with 21 percent; and pharmaceutical companies with 13 percent, the National Law Journal (sub. req.) reports. There was a drop in cases involving accounting issues. Those amounted to 50 percent of cases in 2007, down from 61 percent in 2006. The NLJ reports that total settlements remained stable, with 113 settlements (totaling $6.37 billion) in 2007, compared with 112 settlements (totaling $6.44 billion) in 2006.