Top 10 Biggest Lawsuits in History

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There could be plenty of reasons or motives behind filing lawsuits which are hard to answer and some may seem even unreasonable. Over the course of history, there have been many

lawsuit settlements which have proved to be quite expensive. The main reason most people opt for settlement is that they want to avoid the lengthy process of trial or court proceedings for resolving disputes or issues.

We have shared some of the top 10 biggest lawsuits in history below:

10. Princeton University ($7 million)

Princeton University

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research University, which was founded in 1746 and is located in New Jersey. It does not come as a surprise that they had to tackle with one of the history’s biggest lawsuits with the fact that they had a large number of employees and owned many properties. In the 1960’s, a rich family had made huge monetary contributions to this University, which was not utilized for the right purpose and controlled as desired by the family.

As a result, the family decided to sue Princeton University and filed a lawsuit against them with the intention of changing the purpose of using this money. Finally, they were ordered to pay $7 million dollars as per the terms of the settlement as well as change the way the money was used for the foundation. 

9. Ashley Alford and The Aarons ($95 million)

The Aarons Top 10 Biggest Lawsuits in History

Aarons is a one of the leading rent to own store which has about 2000 stores across the nation, including Canada. They mainly specialize in offering rental electronic goods, household appliances along with furniture to their customers. One of the employees of Aarons had issues with work and faced harassment a number of times. Even after she lodged an official complaint at the company’s hotline, there was no response from their side.

In fact, she was harassed even more, after she made this phone call and decided to file a complaint through a lawyer. She testified in the court and as part of the settlement received a whopping sum of $95 million based on the court’s order from her company. 

8. Bank of America & George McReynolds ( $160 million)

Bank of America & George McReynolds

Back in 2005, George McReynolds made it known publicly that Bank of America, which was a subsidiary of Merrill Lynch was making discrimination between the African American and the White employees. According to his claim, these employees were not getting an equal amount of pay based on their skill nor any chance to advance their careers in the company. Finally, the company reached a settlement, after a lawsuit was filed against them and paid $160 million to over 700 African American employees named in the list. 

7. Michael Jordan Divorce ($ 168 million)

Michael Jordan & Juanita Jordan Biggest Lawsuits in History

The famous basketball legend, Michael Jordan, and his wife’s divorce settlement was the most expensive among celebrity couples who filed for divorce. They decided to part ways in 2007 and got a divorce for reasons which were not known amidst a lot of rumors. As per the court’s orders, he was asked to pay $168 million to Juanita (his ex-wife) and along with the huge sum, she also received jewelry as well as properties including a home from him. 

6. Countrywide Financial Corporation ($335 million)

Countrywide Financial Corporation

There is a practice followed in the real estate, insurance and the banking industry known as “ red lining”, where most of these lenders offer minorities mortgage at higher rates of interest. Countrywide Financial set a bad example to the rest of the banking and mortgage community for their prejudice against the minorities. As a result, the Justice Department had to intervene and found out they were charging a significantly high amount for over 200,000 clients who were actually minorities.

Countrywide Financial decided to go in for a settlement and paid $335 million to the customers whom they had overcharged. 

5. Tiger Woods Divorce ($750 million)

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren Dovorce Lawsuit

Among the celebrity divorces, Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren proved to quite an expensive one. Especially, when Tiger Woods made revelations in the public about his alleged affairs with more than 20 women at the time when both were married. Finally, when his wife filed a divorce case against him, the court ordered him to pay her $750 million as part of the divorce settlement. There was also an agreement done where Woods was not permitted to bring any unmarried woman in the presence of his children. 

4. Rupert Murdoch Divorce ($ 2 billion)

Rupert Murdoch Divorce Lawsuit

This couple was married for about 32 years when finally his wife Anna Torv found him cheating on her. Rupert Murdoch and Anna Torv filed for a divorce and this was considered to be the largest settlement in the history, where Anna received assets which were worth $ 2 billion along with a hefty sum of money which was worth $110 million. 

3. Dmitry Rybolovlev Divorce ( $ 4.5 billion)

Dmitry Rybolovlev Divorce Expensive Lawsuit

This Russian billionaire, Dmitry Rybolovlev was known to have an alleged affair in the course of their long time marriage to Elena Rybolovlev. Finally, when the divorce settlement was reached, the court ordered him to pay her a whopping sum of $4.5 billion which was one of the largest in the history among couples who filed for divorce. 

2. Enron financial scam ($7.2 billion)

Enron financial scam

This is considered to be one of the biggest securities litigation in the history of US. The investors and shareholders who had put in their money suffered heavy losses when Enron the former energy trading company got involved in a financial scandal and went bankrupt in 2001. The shareholder litigation went on for almost 6 years and the shareholders were finally eligible to get $7.2 billion as part of the settlement which was approved by the federal court. 

1. The Master Tobacco Settlement ( $206 billion over 25 years)

 The-Master-Tobacco-Settlement

This 1998 settlement was one of the largest class action settlement in the history which will always be remembered. Attorney General of over 46 states filed an individual lawsuit against the six biggest tobacco companies based in America. These lawsuits were filed mainly to curb the unethical practices as well as recover the healthcare costs for caring for smokers with a lifelong smoking history.

The final settlement amount agreed was $206 billion that helped hospitals provide increased healthcare assistance to such individuals as well as start an anti-smoking campaign group.

 

Note: There are many lawsuits that have a monetary value larger than some lawsuits on this list. Some of them include the BP’s oil spill disaster in Gulf Of Mexico and Volkswagon emission cheating lawsuit. However, these lawsuits are still not complete and hence we didn’t list them here.

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