In a pilot study we published two years ago, we reported that nearly two-thirds of the institutional investors with financial losses in 53 settled securities class actions fail to submit claims. As a consequence of this failure substantial sums they were entitled to receive were given to others. This article presents the results of a much more extensive investigation of the frequency with which financial institutions submit claims in settled securities class actions. We combine an empirical study of a much larger set of settlements with the results of a survey of institutional investors about their claims filing practices. Consistent with our earlier study, we find that less than 30% of institutional investors with provable losses perfect their claims in these settlements. We then explore the possible explanations for this widespread failure. We suggest a wide range of potential problems from mechanical failures in the notification and recordkeeping processes to more subtle issues such as portfolio managers' beliefs that only investment activities produce significant returns for their clients.
James D. Cox & Randall S. Thomas, Letting Billions Slip Through Your Fingers: Empirical Evidence and Legal Implications of the Failure of Financial Institutions to Participate in Securities Class Action Settlements, 58 Stanford Law Review 411-454 (2005)