Washington (April 11, 2003) - The cost of settling securities class action litigation has increased substantially, according to a new study by Cornerstone Research, an economics consulting firm.

The survey, which examined settlements of cases filed and settled since the 1995 enactment of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, found that the 98 securities class action cases resolved in 2002 settled for a median of $6.8 million and an average of $24.3 million. In the prior years of the study the median settlement was $5.5 million and the average was $14.7 million.

However the survey’s authors noted that among the 2002 settlements was a $490 million in the BankAmerica/NationsBank class action and a $457 settlement by Waste Management.

Despite the overall increase in settlement sizes, the majority of cases settled for less than $10 million, and over 40 percent settled for less than $5 million in 2002.

A full copy of the report is available at securities.cornerstone.com

-- WebCPA staff

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