The New York Times has an article on the proliferation of shareholder suits related to options backdating. The article discusses the difficulty in bringing a securities class action, as opposed to a derivative suit.
Quote of note: “The class-action suits that allowed lawyers to champion shareholder rights while earning millions in fees from the collapse of companies like Enron and WorldCom have not materialized, even though more than 80 companies are under investigation in the backdating of stock options. Even when it is clear that options grant dates were manipulated, it is less clear how to calculate damage to specific shareholders. And in many cases, the statute of limitations has expired.”