Sunday, December 10, 2006

Cigna Settles Securities Class Actions

According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, CIGNA Corp. (NYSE: CI) has settled the consolidated securities class action pending against the company and certain of its officers for $93 million.

The Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System is the lead plaintiff and Berger & Montague, P.C. and Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP are co-lead counsel in the CIGNA litigation.

Both the company (here) and the lead plaintiff (here) issued press releases regarding the settlement. The release issued by the lead plaintiff notes that the settlement:
is in the top 8% of all securities class action settlements from 1996 through 2004.
And that the settlement:
is one of the 60 largest securities class action settlements ever achieved.
The case is pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania before Judge Michael M. Baylson.

The Legal Intelligencer (via has an article regarding an earlier ruling by Judge Baylson regarding the identification of confidential informants in securities fraud litigation, an increasingly common practice. In that decision, Judge Baylson ruled that:
Requiring specific identification of confidential sources from among the universe of individuals with relevant knowledge in a securities fraud case would chill informants from providing critical information which may end up being in the public eye.
Judge Baylson concluded that:
fairness compels only that if an individual who is a confidential informant does have relevant information, that person's identity should be disclosed as a discoverable matter, but without disclosing that he or she is a confidential informant.
Daily Trivia: Judge Baylson is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Law School. For several years earlier in his career, Judge Baylson served as an assistant district attorney under then Philadelphia District Attorney (now Senator) Arlen Specter.

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