Two recent reports, one by NERA Economic Consulting, and the other by Cornerstone Research, indicate that the number of securities class actions filed by plaintiffs in the federal courts grew by approximately 9-10% in 2013 as compared with 2012.  The two reports use different classification schemes, and consequently list different total numbers of filings (234 according to NERA, 166 according to Cornerstone), but they both agree that filings have risen significantly over the previous year.  As in 2012, healthcare, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical companies were most commonly targeted, accounting for 21% of filings in 2013, according to Cornerstone.  NERA reports that the average of all federal securities class action settlements approved in 2013 was $68 million, a figure driven up by a number of very large settlements, while the median settlement figure was $9.1 million.  Although this median settlement figure is down 26% from 2012, the overall trend in annual median settlement amounts has been upward since the 1990s, in part due to inflation.