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Long Island

Federal appeals panel hears Arab Bank terror arguments

A federal appeals panel in Manhattan on Tuesday held more than an hour of arguments on the validity of the landmark 2014 jury verdict holding Jordan’s Arab Bank liable to a Long Island family and dozens of other U.S. victims of Mideast terror attacks.

A three-judge panel hearing the case listened as lawyers for the bank and nearly 600 plaintiffs clashed over whether a jury’s finding that the bank was willfully blind to financial dealings with Hamas was closely enough connected to 24 terror attacks to impose damages.

Lawyers for victims and their families told the judges that U.S. anti-terrorism laws were designed to impose liability broadly, but bank lawyers said the verdict would discourage other legitimate banks from doing business in the Mideast.

“That’s very problematic,” bank lawyer Paul Clement told the judges, whose questions provided no readable clues on how they might rule.

The plaintiffs in the case include Gene and Lorraine Goldstein, formerly of Plainview, who were wounded during a 2003 attack in Israel in which their son was killed.

After a Brooklyn federal jury found the bank was liable, the two sides worked out a so-called “high-low” settlement in which the amount, still undisclosed, will depend on the outcome of the appeal.

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