Large companies often find themselves facing various types of business litigation, and those headquartered in Las Vegas are no exception. Regardless of whether these claims have merit, a court case can sometimes be damaging to the company’s public image because of the evidence that can come to light during a trial. When workers decide to pursue employment litigation against their current or former employers, the companies may choose to settle these claims rather than have them aired in court.

Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe are facing a firestorm of negative publicity surrounding a class action employment lawsuit that names all four companies as defendants. As a result, a settlement may be reached in order to avoid a lengthy trial that may make damaging information about the companies available to the public.

Nearly 65,000 software engineers have joined together in filing this suit, which alleges that the tech giants agreed not to poach each others’ engineering employees. If true, this would be a violation of federal antitrust laws. Should the plaintiffs win in at trial, the case could cost the Silicon Valley giants up to $9 billion. Reports offer no speculation regarding the amounts that the companies may pay if they settle rather than take the complaints to court.

Allegations of non-poaching agreements, unfair competition, fraud or deceptive trade practices can take a big toll on the overall productivity of a company. Because of this, in some situations executives and business owners opt to settle rather than allow a case to be fully litigated in court. If your business is currently a defendant in a contentious legal battle, you may find it beneficial to discuss your settlement options with an attorney.

Source: The New York Times, “In Silicon Valley Thriller, a Settlement May Preclude the Finale,” David Streitfeld, April 20, 2014.