Dismissal of claims against OTP Bank in Holocaust Victims of Bank Theft v. Hungarian banks

OTP Bank plc, together with other four defendant banks, was sued before the US District Court for Northern District of Illinois by US and non-US individuals who referred to themselves as the “Holocaust Victims of Bank Theft”. The claim was pursued on behalf of a putative class of an “unknown” number of persons and asked for a compensation from the five banks “in the amount of $2,000,000,000 plus interest compounded annually since 1944”, approximately $75 billion, and in addition that punitive damages be awarded.

On August 22, 2012, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Chicago) ordered the district court to dismiss the claims against OTP Bank and another bank for lack of personal jurisdiction. OTP Bank denied liability on the merits as factually untrue. OTP Bank was established in 1991 and its legal predecessor, Országos Takarékpénztár N.V., was established with no legal predecessor on March 1, 1949. The conduct alleged by plaintiffs took place in 1944.

OTP Bank was represented by Laina Catherine Wilk Lopez, Thomas G. Corcoran, Jr. (Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe, llp, Washington, D.C.), James R. Figliulo, Gregory L. Stelzer (Figliulo & Silverman, p.c., Chicago) together with of counsels Andre Friedman, Péter P. Nagy (Nagy & Trocsanyi, llp, New York).