Attorneys for the plaintiffs have announced that a pretrial settlement has been accomplished in the landmark terrorist financing case against Arab Bank in US District Court in New York. The plaintiffs, who were Americans injured in terrorist bombings in Israel, and the next of kin of those who died in those attacks, had previously prevailed on liability issues, and a trial on damages was to begin jury selection on Monday. Terrorism cases provide for treble damages, under American law.
The case took a decade to go to trial, and the bank's unsuccessful dilatory litigation tactics were an abject lesson in what not to do, if your bank is faced with a similar situation, for the net result was to alienate the Court, and to compound the bank's reputation damage, both with the American public, as well as the international financial community. Lawyers observing these proceedings also took away strong feelings about the lack of ethics of the conduct of the bank, and its counsel. Whether the bank will ever recover from the damage inflicted by this case is unknown.
The impact of the settlement, the terms of which have not yet been disclosed, and which the attorneys stated would be finalized during the coming weeks, cannot be underestimated. Arab Bank paid the families of deceased suicide bombers a stipend, after their fatal attacks, and international banks who wish not to be in a similar situation in court will have to insure, through their compliance process, that they have absolutely no role in terrorist financing, or in providing materials support to terrorist organizations, lest they end up with multi-million dollar judgments, and massive reputation damage.
|Arab Bank headquarters in Amman.|