Plaintiffs accused Apple, Google, Intel Corp and Adobe Systems Inc in the 2011 lawsuit of limiting job mobility and, as a result, keeping a lid on salaries. Companies are offering to pay $415 million that is a pocket change to the companies. If they let the case go to trial, it might corrode their image as forward-thinking, worker-friendly benevolent empires.
Lawyer have a hard choice too. Their share of the settlement is as much as 25 percent. If the case went to trial, the plaintiffs might lose, in which case the lawyers would get nothing for years of work. On the other hand, a jury could award the plaintiffs billions. At one point, lawyers for the plaintiffs said the damages were $3 billion, which would be tripled after a guilty verdict.