The conventional wisdom in the early days of the pandemic was that a cash-strapped economy would combine with a dearth of trials to decrease pressure on defendants and deflate settlement offers. The lawyers at labor and employment defense firm Seyfarth Shaw found in their annual survey of workplace class action settlements last year that the conventional wisdom didn’t quite hold up. The top 10 settlements in that world totaled $1.58 billion in 2020, compared to $1.34 billion in 2019, and $1.32 billion in 2018.

So what happened in 2021?