PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has issued a study on private securities litigation trends in 2002 and the first part of 2003. Notable findings for the period from January 1, 2003 to July 31, 2003 include:
(1) 60 securities class actions were settled with a total settlement value of $1.5 billion ($25.1 million average).
(2) The total number of securities class action filings in 2003 is on track to be approximately 190 (down from 217 in 2002).
(3) The number of securities class actions involving health services and pharmaceutical companies is rising, while the number of cases against telecommunications and utlilities companies has dropped dramatically.
Quote of note (from the related press release): “In 2002, approximately one out of every five shareholder class actions involved either a Department of Justice investigation, or a federal indictment, conviction or guilty plea/conviction, a 200 percent increase over 2001, and a 290 percent increase over the average for the years 1996 through 2000.”