Brokerage giant settles discrimination lawsuit

By MICHAEL TARM
Courtesy of the Associated Press

August 28. 2013

CHICAGO (AP) — A plaintiffs' attorney says hundreds of black financial advisers have reached a $160 million settlement in a lawsuit accusing Wall Street brokerage giant Merrill Lynch of racial discrimination.

Chicago attorney Suzanne E. Bish on Wednesday confirmed the settlement involving Merrill Lynch and some 1,200 plaintiffs. She says it's one of the largest settlements ever in a racial discrimination case.

A Merrill Lynch statement says it's "not commenting on the existence" of a settlement.

The primary plaintiff, George McReynolds, alleged Merill Lynch engaged in a pattern of discrimination, resulting in blacks having lower production than white men at the company.

Bish noted the settlement coincides with the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech."