Class-action securities lawsuit filings alleging accounting wrongdoing rose 33 percent to 93 last year, the highest level since 2008 and the fourth consecutive annual increase, according to a new report, while settlement values for accounting-related cases reached their highest level of the past nine years.

The annual report, from Cornerstone Research, found an unprecedented number of federal filings of class actions involving mergers and acquisitions were the main drivers behind the increase in accounting-related cases. “Traditional” accounting case filings, those with Rule 10b-5, Section 11, and/or Section 12(a)(2) claims, stayed comparatively stable, though those filings were much bigger in terms of the defendant firms’ market capitalization losses.

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