US District Judge Nina Gershon on Friday denied almost all of Arab Bank's March motion to dismiss the litigation, allowing bombing survivors and victims' families to move forward with their lawsuits seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
The lawsuits claim that Arab Bank aided terrorism by acting as the administrator of an 'insurance plan' by the Saudi Committee in Support of the Intifada Al Quds, which paid $5300 to the families of Palestinian bombers killed in attacks by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
The plaintiffs are US citizens, including the widow of John Linde Jr, a security guard from Missouri who died when a bomb tore apart a vehicle in a US diplomatic convoy in the Gaza Strip in 2003.
Arab Bank contended the lawsuit should be thrown out because the bank had no intention of promoting terrorism and because the plaintiffs could not link the bank's actions to their injuries or their relatives' deaths.
"It really opens the way for all of these American terror victims to have their day in court," said Mark Werbner, one of the lawsuit's lead attorney.
An Arab Bank attorney did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.