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Inside Corporate America’s Biggest Settlements

By Minh-Anh Nguyen

A list of the largest US corporate settlements reads like an atlas of boardroom disasters.


After the financial crisis, Bank of America Corp. set a record with a mortgage-related settlement of more than $16 billion, and following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, BP Plc faced thousands of claims from people affected by the spill. In California, utility PG&E Corp. was penalized after its equipment ignited wildfires. And in New York, JPMorgan Chase & Co. settled claims that it failed to stop Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Good Jobs First, the Washington nonprofit that compiled the data, notes that in most cases, even if they pay large settlements, companies don’t admit wrongdoing. But the litany of multibillion-dollar payments is a reminder that good business is cheaper than the alternative.

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