4 blacks, jeweler open bias trial, reach accord


A lawsuit by four African-Americans, including Sun art critic Glenn McNatt, alleging racial discrimination by J. Brown Jewelers, has been settled for an undisclosed sum.

The settlement was reached after Monday's opening day of what had been expected to be a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Frederic N. Smalkin in Baltimore. The terms and conditions of the settlement are to remain confidential and each party is "to bear its own costs," court records show.

McNatt and three co-defendants had charged that they were denied immediate access to a now-closed J. Brown store on downtown North Charles Street because of their race. The business, which has a store in Pikesville, vigorously disputed the charge, calling it "baseless" and noting that a "substantial part" of its clientele is black.

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