Merrill Lynch won the dismissal of a $10.4 million suit filed by an investor.

A three-person NASD arbitration panel threw out a suit filed by Habib Monas, who held Merrill Lynch accountable for $5.4 million in losses on investments he made in technology stocks through his account at the firm.

According the ruling, Merrill Lynch attorney Roger Hawk told the panel, “Claimant was a wealthy investor who fully understood and accepted the risks of the trading he himself initiated. Merrill repeatedly advised claimant to reduce the margin debt and hedge the risk in his account, and it was claimant who rejected that advice.''

In a seven-page ruling, the NASD arbitration panel of attorney’s James Nash and Kenneth Diamond, and public arbitrator John Scudiero, did not explain in the claim why it dismissed Monas' claim of $5.4 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

Monas invested in a Merrill plan that included shares of Vitria Technology Inc.; Alteon Websystems Inc., a subsidiary of Nortel Networks Corp.; E.piphany Inc.; Software.com Inc., a subsidiary of Openwave Systems Inc.; Inktomi Corp.; Realnetworks Inc.; Internap Network Services Corp. and Network Solutions Inc., a subsidiary of VeriSign Inc.

Hawke refused to comment on the case, other than to provide the claim. Monas’ attorney, Pinchus Raice, did not return calls requesting comment, and Monas could not be reached for comment.