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Judge hears arguments on WaMu retirement accounts

SEATTLE — A federal judge heard arguments on what should happen with retirement accounts for tens of thousands of past and present Washington Mutual employees.

A lawyer for participants in the the 401(k) plans, Steve Berman, told U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman on Thursday that JPMorgan Chase should be liable for $300 million in losses. Chase bought WaMu Bank when it failed late last year.

The judge questioned Berman closely on how Chase could be held responsible for any wrongdoing on WaMu’s part that occurred before Chase took over.

Berman said there was no established case law, but that fairness dictated that Chase should be responsible for liabilities in bank operations on which it was making large profits.

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