A worldwide class action settlement has been reached for thousands of Holocaust-era claims against the large Italian insurer, Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A., Trieste.
Attorneys for the Philadelphia law firm Kohn, Swift & Graf P.C. announced they have an agreement with Generali on behalf of victims of Nazi persecution or their descendants.
According to press reports, the deal won far less than the attorneys sought but was the best the felt they could reach after years of litigation.
The deal was to be submitted to Judge George B. Daniels of Federal District Court in Manhattan for a hearing Jan. 31.
“This will be an opportunity for many people to finally receive funds that are owed to them and their families,” said Robert A. Swift, one of the lead plaintiffs’ attorneys in the class action, which it had pursued against Generali for more than 9 years.
Claim forms will be processed and paid using validation procedures established by the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claim, based in London.
Claimants could receive as little as $1,000, according to terms of the settlement announced by Swift.
Chris Carnicelli, chairman of Generali North America, issued a statement declaring the settlement “marks another major step in bringing the issue of Holocaust-era insurance claims to resolution. We do not believe that the objections of a few individuals should impede this settlement, or the process, which has already resulted in thousands of claimants receiving payments and more who could take advantage of this settlement.”