Class action lawsuit filed in alleged Huntington Bank racism case

By Corey McIsaac, Assignment Editor, WDIV
Published On: Jul 11 2013 02:16:57 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 11 2013 07:04:55 PM EDT
ACLR photo
DEARBORN, Mich. -

After they say their office was flooded with complaints by members of the Arab-American community, the Arab-American Civil Rights League (ACRL) on Thursday announced a class action lawsuit alleging racism against Huntington National Bank.

Attorney Nabih H. Ayad & Associates, P.C., Barry Seifman, P.C., and Jaafar & Mahdi Law Group, P.C. are seeking class action status in the federal civil rights case.

READ: Huntington Bank complaint

The plaintiffs are alleging Huntington National Bank closed their bank accounts, providing no reason for doing so.

Group: Several banks closing Arab-American accounts

They also state that when they requested to be provided a reason for the closures, Huntington provided no explanation.

The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan alleges Huntington's Arab and Muslim clients of Middle Eastern descent, or customers perceived as Arab, Muslim or of Middle Eastern descent, are subject to greater scrutiny than non-Arab, non-Muslim and non-Middle Eastern clients.

They allege they have to overcome a suspicion that they are attempting to aid in terrorist activity or conduction fraudulent activity.

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and a Temporary Restraining Order filed prohibiting Huntington from closing their accounts for discriminatory reasons.

Response from Huntingon Bank:

"We are reviewing the information available to us at this time and cannot specifically comment. It is Huntington's policy to not comment on legal matters. However, Huntington appreciates the opportunity to do business with the Arab-American community, in greater Detroit and all our other markets."

Maureen Brown, director of public relations

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