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Judge Approves Holocaust Claim Settlement

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A federal judge has issued a final order and judgment involving claims brought on behalf of the customers, beneficiaries and heirs of Holocaust victims who once owned insurance policies from Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A.

In the documents, U.S. District Judge George Daniels rejects challenges to a settlement agreement negotiated between Generali, Trieste, and representatives for members of the settlement class.

Generali has agreed through the settlement to pay $35 million more to supplement an existing Holocaust-era policy settlement fund that was administered by the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims, Washington.

Generali previously had paid $100 million to the fund. Most of the money went to the heirs and other survivors of Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Daniels first approved the new, $35 million settlement agreement in early 2007.

Some Holocaust victims objected, arguing that Generali should have to defend itself at a trial and face the possibility of having to pay punitive damages.

The final order says the class for the new settlement includes “all persons worldwide, their heirs, executors, administrators, successors, beneficiaries and/or assigns, who between 1920 and 1945…purchased or are the beneficiaries of life insurance, property insurance, and/or casualty insurance policies and/or annuities sold or issued by or through Generali” and have not opted out of the class or received payment of policy cash values or benefits.

Settlement claim processors already are waiting for approval to pay about 700 claims, and they believe the class includes a total of several thousand members, according to the final order.

The agreement awards $5,000 settlement payments to 4 named plaintiffs.


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