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The Williams Companies, Inc. (NYSE:WMB) lost a $311 million securities class action lawsuit. According to partner Chad Johnson, "This recovery of $311 million is an extraordinary result. It is among the largest recoveries ever in a securities class action in which the corporate defendant did not restate its financial results. This settlement is also proof that the combination of a vigorous litigation strategy and committed institutional lead plaintiffs results in outstanding recoveries."

What this means is that institutional shareholders are learning to use their power to prosecute the corporate suite and recover substantial amounts of funds. White collar criminals have long relied on weak victims to help in their getaway. Hopefully others will take note.

In the meantime, shares of WMB were up nicely in trading yesterday.

WMB 1-yr chart:

WMB 1-yr

Source: Williams Loses $311 Million Securities Class Action Suit (WMB)