A recently-published report from NERA Economic Consulting provides a look back at securities class action litigation in 2020 and demonstrates the continued focus by the plaintiffs’ bar on life science firms, particularly those centered on the development and commercialization of drugs and devices.

The report found that excluding merger objections, the Health Technology and Services sector accounted for 22% of all securities class action filings for the year, nearly the most of any sector.  The report also showed that defendants in that sector faced the largest percentage of COVID-19-related securities class actions suits.  Those suits include cases against developers of COVID-19 vaccines and diagnostics.

NERA further reported that the average settlement value in securities class actions in 2020 for non-merger objection cases increased more than 50% over 2019, with the average settlement value coming in at $44 million.

NERA’s report makes clear that life sciences firms continue to face disproportionate rates of securities class action claims, including filings related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the cost to settle securities litigation has been on the rise.

Read the entire report.