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US judge approves Holocaust settlement for Italian insurance claims

[JURIST] US District Judge George B. Daniels [official profile] on Tuesday approved a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit brought by Holocaust [JURIST news archive] survivors against Italian insurance company Assicurazioni Generali [corporate website]. Under the terms of the settlement, the insurance company will accept new claims until March 31, 2008. The deadline might be extended to August 31, 2008 when the Bad Arolsen Archive [BBC backgrounder] in Germany is opened, if documents are revealed that give rise to additional claims. According to the class action website, the suit against the company alleged that it has refused to honor insurance policies sold to the Holocaust era victims prior to and during the Holocaust. Generali has already paid an estimated $135 million to settle claims related to the class action. AP has more.

US federal courts have presided over several other significant Holocaust settlements in recent years. In April 2005, a district judge approved a $21.9 million award [JURIST report] to heirs of families whose bank holdings were allegedly concealed and stolen by Swiss banks looking to gain favor with invading Nazis, and a district judge in March 2005 approved a $25.5 million settlement [JURIST report] between Hungarian Holocaust survivors and the US government over a train seized by the US Army in 1945 that was filled with gold, art, and other property, valued at the time between $50 million and $200 million.

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