On November 7, 2001, lead plaintiff Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds achieved an extraordinary $457 million settlement on behalf of persons and entities that purchased Waste Management, Inc. (WMI) securities between June 11, 1998 and November 9, 1999. The settlement, which at the time was the third-largest securities fraud settlement ever recorded, and which also included an array of substantial measures aimed at improving WMI's corporate governance, was achieved through the direct participation of Connecticut Treasurer Denise L. Nappier and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Labaton Sucharow represented Connecticut and the class.
Judge Melinda Harmon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas approved the settlement on April 29, 2002. On March 12, 2004, after processing more than 70,000 claims, the court-approved claims administrator distributed checks totaling more than $400 million to class members. Thirty class members that suffered particularly heavy losses on WMI securities owing to the alleged fraud received distributions from the Net Settlement Fund exceeding $1 million, and nearly 100 class members received distributions between $300,000 and $1 million. In all, more than 500 class members received distributions exceeding $100,000.
The claims administrator mailed the second distribution of checks to class members on October 14, 2008.