Class action lawsuits, including securities class action lawsuits, are a large and growing source of unclaimed funds. Each year hundreds of companies are involved in class action litigation.
Recent class action settlements have exceeded $10 billion ($5 billion last year alone), yet more than half of those entitled to payment fail to file a claim.
Class actions fall into a number of broad categories including:
- Securities Fraud (insider trading and mismanagement)
- Consumer Protection (fraudulent marketing)
- Product Liability (autos and other defective products)
- Antitrust (unfair business practices and price fixing)
- Human Rights (unfair practices and discrimination)
- Environment (pollution)
- Public Health (tobacco, asbestos, implants, defective drugs and medical equipment)
Current and former customers and stockholders in over 2000 companies are entitled to receive unclaimed class action settlement payments. Legal notice of class action claims eligibility is often buried deep in newspaper classifieds. If you've moved, physically hold stock certificates, or hold stock in street name and switch brokers, you may not be notified.
Even if a product was used used ago or stock has long since been sold, class members may be eligible to receive cash, credits, shares or distributions in companies like AOL, AT&T, Ford, Toyota, GM, Dow Corning, Coca-Cola, NASDAQ, Publishers Clearing House, Bank of America, MCI, Merrill Lynch, Schwab, Wal-Mart and hundreds of others.
If you a current or former customer or stockholder in a company named in a class action lawsuit, you must file a claim with the court or claims administrator to receive your share. Settlement payments to class members will not show up in a state unclaimed property search, and legal notices in newspapers are easily missed. There may be a time limit on claims, so prompt action should be taken.
To search for a class action settlement complete the form below.