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May 5, 2006, 8:29 pm
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HOLTZMAN EQUELS TO REPRESENT VICTIMS IN DISCRIMINATION CLASS ACTION
AGAINST DELL FINANCIAL SERVICES
Suit Claims Dell Refused to Provide Credit to Individuals Based on
MIAMI - May 4, 2006 - Thomas K. Equels, Managing Shareholder of the
Holtzman Equels law firm, and attorney Benjamin R. Alvarez with have
filed a class action on behalf of Miami resident Juan C. Arteaga
against Dell Financial Services, LP. in United States District Court
for the Southern District of Florida (Case #06-21123). The complaint
alleges the organization, a joint venture between Dell Inc., the
world's leading online computer systems company, and CIT., violated the
Equal Credit Opportunity Act by refusing to provide credit to
individuals based on their ethnic backgrounds.
"The exact number of people affected by these discriminatory
practices are unknown," said Equels, "but we believe there are
thousands of victims who simply don't know that they were denied
credit based solely on their race or ethnicity."
Arteaga, a Hispanic businessman and university professor, said he
placed an order and submitted a credit application to lease new
computer equipment for his new company (Global Institute of Higher
Extension Studies, L.L.C.) in November 2005.
The class action stated, "After Mr. Arteaga was approved, pursuant to
Dell Financial's instructions, Mr. Arteaga wire transferred $4,063.54
to Dell Financial's Bank of America account as a down payment for the
leased computer equipment. Subsequently, though still during the month
of February 10, 2005, Ms. Lynn Dickenson of Dell Financial confirmed
that she had received the application, that the down payment was
applied and that the order was being processed and would be ready soon.
According to the complaint, "On February 11, 2005, the day after Dell
had confirmed Global's credit application and had applied Mr.
Arteaga's down payment, Ms. Dickenson emailed Mrs. Castano at Global
and informed her that the credit application was being denied because
'our verification department seems to think that Juan Carlos
[Arteaga] can't speak English and a non-English speaker can't
personally guarantee an account for fear they may not understand the
terms and conditions of the lease.'"
"Mr. Arteaga made several attempts to obtain further explanation from
Dell Financial for its decision to deny him and Global credit but his
requests went unanswered," said Equels. "Even though Mr. Arteaga
had exemplary credit, Dell would not extend him credit because of his
accent and ethnic background. Dell's refusal to provide him credit is
a clear and direct violation of the Act."
Equels said class action seeks punitive damages that the court will
determined based on the number of plaintiffs, the extent of their
individual claims and the degree of Dell's violations of the Act.
Holtzman Equels, a Florida law firm with offices in Miami, Orlando and
Tallahassee, Fla., represents clients in civil litigation, government
relations, appellate and personal injury matters. Please visit our