Grace Lamont, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, predicts the number of federal class action securities lawsuits filed will increase this year, according to the ABA Journal. The number of federal securities class actions totaled 163 in 2007, up from 109 in 2006, the publication says.
From the ABA Journal:
"I think in 2008 what we're going to see is a further increase," Lamont told an audience made up largely of lawyers, accountants and insurance company executives, predicting that the subprime mortgage crisis is surely going to bump up the number of filings. Already, halfway through 2007, the number of federal subprime-related securities class action filings rose sharply, she said.
The growing role being played by unions and pension funds as plaintiffs in securities class actions is apparently driving up damages awards, Lamont said, probably because of the fact that these institutional plaintiffs are well-funded and can afford to pursue cases aggressively.