PHILADELPHIA (Jul. 7)
A multimillion dollar class action suit charging an ongoing policy of anti-Semitism, has been filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, against Kawneer Co., Inc., Bloomburg, Pa., it was reported today by I.J. Blynn in the Jewish Exponent. Robert I. Mendelson, a former executive at Kawneer, charges “participation in an illegal boycott and conspiracy against Jews which was instigated by Arab and oil-producing countries,” according to a brief filed by Mendelson’s lawyers.
Mendelson contends that his refusal in September, 1973, to sign a contract for building supplies totaling $137,000 between Kawneer and Comstock International, Inc., led to his being hounded out of the company in August, 1975, and blacklisted so that he has been unable to find work for the last two years.
Mendelson’s suit alleges that Bond Evans, company president, repeatedly asked him to quit, warning him that promotions and transfers would not be allotted to a Jew.
Comstock was to sell the goods to the builders of the International Hotel in the Arab emirate of Dubai. The final paragraph of the contract read, “This is to certify that we are not on the boycott list as published by the Arab states’ Israel boycott office, nor do the goods include any material manufactured or made in Israel.”
Judge Daniel H. Huyett III will hear the preliminary arguments July 29. Should he allow the case to be tried as a class action suit, it will be the first time that Jews, specifically Jews who have applied for employment at Kawneer, have been recognized as a class in a legal action, according to Gary Green, attorney of record for Mendelson.