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Holocaust Settlement Advances

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A federal appeals court has approved a settlement involving claims brought on behalf of the beneficiaries and heirs of Holocaust victims who once owned insurance policies written by Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has endorsed a settlement approved by a U.S. District Court judge in New York in January.

Generali, Trieste, has agreed through the settlement, in Rubin vs. Assicurazioni Generali S.P.A., to pay a total of about $50 million to members of the class, 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.

A judge approved the new settlement agreement in early 2007, but he reconsidered the settlement after some Holocaust victims argued that Generali should have to defend itself at a trial.

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, according to court documents.

“The settlement resolves the majority of Holocaust victims’ claims against Generali,” according to lawyers in the New York office of Anderson Kill & Olick P.C., a firm that helped represent the plaintiffs.


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