Researchers from Stanford University recently published their findings on the numbers of federal class action securities lawsuits filed in the United States over the past year. According to their findings, during the first six months of 2015, 85 new federal class action securities lawsuits were filed. During the second half of 2014, 92 federal class action securities lawsuits were filed. From 1997 to 2014, the semiannual average was 94 federal class action securities lawsuit filings. The disclosure dollar loss for the first half of 2015 was $34 million. The maximum dollar loss for the same period was $105 billion.
The researchers noted that it was difficult to perceive any widespread trends in these lawsuits, but some types of industries stood out. Securities filings against industrial and technological firms increased, while filings against energy companies declined. Biotechnology, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies together accounted for 19 percent of filings for the first half of 2015. Filings against pharmaceutical companies were the most common among the group for the first half of 2015. Over recent years, companies in the biotechnology, healthcare and pharmaceutical industry group were the most frequent subjects of class actions.
Class action lawsuits include multiple injured or harmed parties and represent their interests together. There are a number of requirements a lawsuit filing must meet to qualify as a class action lawsuit. Class action lawsuits are effective at representing a group of victims similarly harmed such as in cases of securities fraud or other types of harmful situations that impact large groups of victims. Class action securities lawsuits offer options to victims harmed by securities fraud. Other types of securities claims may also be available to help protect victims.
The legal process offers a number of different options to ensure that victims of securities fraud or other types of harm are protected to every extent possible. When harmed by securities fraud or a securities fraud scheme, it is important that victims are familiar with their rights and how to enforce those rights when they have been harmed.