Suits Allege Racial Discrimination by Prudential,

July 14, 2000

Prudential Insurance Co. of America and MetLife defended themselves Thursday against alleged racial discrimination in their sale of insurance policies.

Prudential acknowledged it did take part in race-based pricing in the past, but stopped the practice in the 1950s. The company also announced a toll-free number had been established for policyholders who believe they might have paid race-based premiums.

Meanwhile, MetLife defended itself against a lawsuit filed Tuesday in a U.S. District Court in New York. The suit alleges MetLife charged black customers higher premiums than whites.

Both lawsuits were brought by the same group of law firms involved in suing seven insurers in the South that sold allegedly discriminatory burial insurance policies.

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