Insurers, banks among firms named
Reparations lawyers sued three companies in federal court last week, saying they were "unjustly enriched" by slavery.
The insurance company has in the past admitted insuring slaves for their owners and apologized.
Last week the company said: "We do not believe a court would permit a lawsuit over events which however regrettable occurred hundreds of years ago. These issues in no way reflect Aetna today."
The railroad operator owns rail lines that were built by slaves.
Last week the company said: The lawsuit was "without merit" and should be dismissed.
A Fleet predecessor bank was founded by a slave trader.
Last week, Fleet declined comment.
Reparations lawyers are readying suits against a second batch of companies they accuse of profiting from antebellum-era slavery. The second round of defendants is expected to include New York Life, J.P. Morgan Chase, Lehman Bros. investment bank and WestPoint Stevens, a textile maker.
Lehman Bros. and New York Life said they couldn't comment until seeing the lawsuit.
WestPoint Stevens couldn't be reached.
J.P. Morgan Chase said it hired an outside research firm to look through archives. Based on that review, "we don't believe there's any basis for liability," spokeswoman Charlotte Gilbert-Biro said.