JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank have filed motions to dismiss lawsuits brought by two women who claim the banks enabled sexual abuse at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein.
Both banks were sued by separate women in November under New York’s Adult Survivor’s Act, which opened a one-year window where the statute of limitations is lifted for sexual assault cases.
JPMorgan and Deutsche, which both deny the allegations filed in New York federal court, are now attempting to throw out the suits, as first reported by Bloomberg News.
“Plaintiff Jane Doe 1, a survivor of Epstein’s sexual abuse, is entitled to her day in court,” said JPMorgan in a Feb. 7 court filing. “But this lawsuit against JPMC is legally meritless and directed at the wrong party.”
According to an amended complaint from the woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, former JPMorgan executive Jes Staley was a close friend of Epstein and observed his abuse. However, the bank claims that Staley, who left JPMorgan in 2013, only witnessed Epstein sexually grab young women. Staley later became CEO of Barclays.
“Although allegations of sexual grabbing are odious, they do not establish that Staley (and, by hypothesis, JMPC) knew that Plaintiff was a victim of sex trafficking,” reads court documents filed by the bank. “Without that crucial detail, Plaintiff alleges nothing more than a JPMC employee developed a bond with a wrongdoer customer.”
Deutsche also filed a motion to dismiss its case on Feb. 7, arguing that an amended complaint contains “few new factual allegations” and failed to show that the bank was aware of Epstein’s sex trafficking. The plaintiff, who has also chosen to remain anonymous, also allegedly released her claims against Deutsche during a previous settlement with the estate of Epstein, according to Deutsche.
Sigrid McCawley, an attorney for the women, said in a statement that the banks were aware of Epstein’s conduct and should take responsibility for their actions.