NU Online News Service, Feb. 24, 2005, 3:59 p.m. EST

A large insurer is starting to implement a settlement with a class of plaintiffs that includes descendants of the victims of the 1915 Armenian genocide.[@@]

The insurer, New York Life Insurance Company, will send a representative to Pasadena, Calif., Feb. 28 to donate $330,000 to an Armenian relief group, an Armenian educational group and 2 Armenian religious groups.

New York Life agreed to the settlement to resolve a suit filed in 1999 in a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on behalf of Martin Marootian and other descendants of victims of the Armenian genocide.

New York Life acknowledged during litigation that about 2,400 policies sold to Armenians before the genocide remained unpaid.

The settlement fund is open to claims from descendants and heirs of Armenians who bought New York Life policies before 1915.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs note that the Marootian case is the oldest resolved case in U.S. history and that it is the first recorded case that addresses the Armenian genocide.

Descendants of victims of the 1915 Armenian genocide have March 15 to file settlement claims.

More information about the claims process is on the Web at http://www.armenianinsurancesettlement.com