updated 3/21/2009 6:28:59 PM ET 2009-03-21T22:28:59

Washington Mutual's holding company is suing federal regulators for billions of dollars, saying the fire sale of the bank's assets to JPMorgan Chase violated its rights.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in U.S. District court in Washington, D.C., against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which seized the Seattle-based savings-and-loan in September. It was the largest bank failure in U.S. history.

Lawyers for the holding company, Washington Mutual Inc., argued that Washington Mutual Bank was worth more than the $1.9 billion JPMorgan paid for it in a deal arranged by the FDIC. The lawsuit argues that if WaMu's assets had been liquidated prudently, they would have been worth more than that.

An FDIC spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment Saturday.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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