NU Online News Service, Oct. 14, 2004, 7:34 p.m. EDT

A U.S. District Court judge in New York has thrown out 20 lawsuits dealing with Holocaust-era insurance claims against Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A., Trieste.[@@]

The judge, Michael Mukasey, said a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision will require the plaintiffs to seek relief through the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims.

California had tried to pass a law permitting Holocaust survivors and their heirs and beneficiaries to file claims in U.S. courts, but the Supreme Court agreed with arguments by federal officials that the federal government has a right to make the Holocaust victims go through ICHEIC.

Opponents have argued that forcing the Holocaust victims to turn ICHEIC for relief is unfair because Generali helped organize ICHEIC.