The recent string of notable settlements reached its crescendo yesterday. Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE: TYC), a diversified global company, has announced the preliminary settlement of the securities class action pending against the company in the D. of N.H. The case was filed in 2003 and alleges an enormous accounting fraud scheme (which has led to related criminal law convictions for individual Tyco officers).
The settlement is for $2.975 billion and is being heralded as the largest payout ever by a single corporate defendant in a securities fraud lawsuit. As part of the settlement, Tyco has agreed to assign its related claims against PricewaterhouseCoopers, its former auditor, to the plaintiffs. Press coverage can be found in the Associated Press, the New York Times, and Business Week.