The Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse, in cooperation with Cornerstone Research, said the largest settlement of state pension lawsuits filed since 2007 involved Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. The financial company allegedly misrepresented and omitted facts related to its exposure to subprime lending markets.
The following companies, which have denied wrongdoing, had the largest dollar amounts settled with state pension funds since 2007.
Tyco International, Ltd.
Total settlement: $3.2 billion
Most recent settlement year: 2007. Filed in 2002.
Lead plaintiffs: Louisiana State Employees Retirement, Plumbers & Pipefitters National Pension Fund, Teachers' Retirement System of Louisiana, United Association Office Employees Pension Plan, United Association of Local Union Officers & Employees Pension, United Association General Officers Pension Plan, and Voyageur Asset Management
Tyco, the electronics and manufacturing company, allegedly made false and misleading public statements and omitted material information about its finances.
McKesson HBOC Inc.
Total settlement: $1.04 billion
Most recent settlement year: 2008. Filed in 1999.
Lead plaintiffs: New York State Common Retirement Fund
The litigation alleged that McKesson HBOC, a healthcare IT company, reported fraudulent revenues, income and assets.
United Health Group, Inc.
Total settlement: $925.5 million
Most recent settlement year: 2009. Filed in 2006.
Lead plaintiff: California Public Employees' Retirement System
The managed-care company, based in Minnetonka, Minn. was accused of stock options backdating -
Total settlement: $804.5 million
Most recent settlement year: 2010. Filed in 1998.
Lead plaintiffs: Central States Pension Fund, Southeast and Southwest Area Pension Fund, Educational Retirement Board of New Mexico, New Mexico State Investment Council, Retirement Systems of Alabama, Michigan Retirement Systems
The plaintiffs accused HealthSouth, an inpatient healthcare provider, of accounting fraud. Xerox Corp.
Total settlement: $750 million
Most recent settlement year: 2009. Filed in 2000.
Lead plaintiff: Louisiana State Employees Retirement System
The Louisiana pension fund claimed Xerox misled investors by intentionally overstating earnings through five annual reporting periods, according to the claims administrator, Gilardi & Co. The suit also claimed that while Xerox was reporting allegedly artificially inflated earnings, individuals working for KPMG, the accounting firm for Xerox, sold Xerox securities at "artificially inflated prices" for about $50 million.
List compiled from Securities Class Action Services' "Top 100 Settlements Quarterly Report." September 30, 2010.