10 Most Expensive Court Settlements


You’ve heard of celebrity divorces and how many dollars they shell out in order to pay millions of dollars worth of divorce settlement, like Mel Gibson, who gave his estranged wife $425 million. However, these court settlements involving major companies and international firms are 10 times more expensive than the world’s priciest celebrity divorce settlements–some of them even worth hundreds of billions! 

Discover the most expensive court settlements to date in the following pages. 

10. Pfizer (settlement: $2.3 billion)

Pfizer agreed to settle both criminal and civil penalties worth $2.3 billion in the case filed by 200 plaintiffs accusing the pharmaceutical company for marketing Bextra, a painkiller that was found out to increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.


9. GlaxoSmithKline (settlement: $3 billion)

In 2012, this pharmaceutical giant admitted of giving doctors incentives when they prescribed GSK’s drugs to their clients. Because of this, GSK paid a painful $3 billion for both criminal and civil charges.


8. BP Global (settlement:  $4.5 billion)

BP Global paid a hefty $4.5 billion as fines and restitutions as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill at the Gulf of Mexico in April 20 2010. This accident also led to deaths of 11 rig workers. Besides, more than 8,000 birds, marine mammals and sea birds were injured or found dead following the spill.


7. Dmitry Rybolovlev Divorce (settlement:  $4.8 billion)



Dubbed as the most expensive divorce settlement of all time, the court decided in 2014 that Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev would pay his wife, Elena a divorce settlement worth $4.8 billion.



However, earlier in 2015, this amount was reduced to $604 million after the petition of Rybolovlev. Elena’s lawyers, however, said that they will continue to battle to reinstate the first decision of the court.




6. Anadarko and Kerr Mcgee (settlement:  $5.15 billion)

On November 2014, a court judgment ordered the petroleum company Anadarko to cover the cleanup expenses ($5.15 billion) for toxic waste sites all over the US that involved their subsidiary Kerr Mcgee.

5. CitiGroup (settlement:  $7 billion)

The multinational banking and financial firm Citigroup paid $7 billion as settlement following the US Department of Justice’s investigation on mortgage securities. This scandal caused a major slowdown in the US’ financial industry.


4. JPMorgan (settlement: $13 billion)

One of the world’s largest banking institutions, JP Morgan agreed to pay the US government a settlement worth $13 billion over bad debts. The finance giant was said to be the first company to pay settlement to the government because of its role in causing the financial crisis in 2008. As pictured above during the Senate hearings, JP Morgan faced a lot of criticism from the public opinion.


3. Bank of America (settlement:  $16.65 billion)

In August 2014, the Bank of America paid a settlement worth $16.65 billion to the federal authorities in order to resolve the company’s case of selling questionable mortgage securities.


2. BP Global (settlement:  $18.7 billion)

The oil and gas giant BP finds itself paying a second settlement with a higher price tag still involving the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill that was dubbed as the worst oil spill in the history of the US. This settlement was paid to the federal government and five states that were affected by this disaster.


1. Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (settlement: $206 billion)


The most expensive court settlements of all time involve four major tobacco firms (Brown & Williamson, R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris, and Lorillard) that agreed to pay 46 states $206 billion over the span of 25 years.

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