The report found that the top ten settlements struck last year in the areas of wage and hour, ERISA, and governmental enforcement class actions combined to total $1.16 billion–the largest one-year figure since Seyfarth Shaw began keeping track. (Download Seyfarth shaw class action here.)

Wage and hour disputes continued to dominate the class action docket with 6,761 filings in 2010, up roughly 10 percent from 2009′s 6,120. Employment discrimination cases also saw a notable spike, jumping to 14,559 last year from 13,720 in 2009, or about 6 percent. (Without going into specifics, the report notes that because most wage and hour suits were filed on behalf of groups of employees, their practical effect is greater than the raw numbers show.)

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