Genocide Victims Insurance Claims Bill Passes Assembly Committee

SACRAMENTO–Senate Bill 1915–authored by Senator Chuck Poochigian (R-Fresno)–unanimously passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee (14-0) on August 8. This measure will enable victims and heirs of victims of the Armenian Genocide to access the California court system to compel insurance companies to pay insurance claims owed to victims of the Genocide. Senate Bill 1915 previously passed the Senate (39-0) on May 24–2000.

"SB 1915 will ensure that the California legal system does not stop legitimate insurance claims owed to victims of the Armenian Genocide and their families," said Senator Poochigian. "I am pleased that my Assembly colleagues recognize the importance of this issue."

Senate Bill 1915 simply provides that victims of the genocide and their heirs be permitted to have an expeditious–inexpensive and fair forum in which to resolve their claims against insurance companies in California courts. During the early 1900s–insurance companies marketed insurance to Armenia’s living in historic Armenia–then part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. It is estimated that approximately 10,000 policies were sold at that time.

"The Armenian community’s support has been very important to our effort to provide legislative relief to victims of the Genocide. I have been touched by the stories surrounding efforts to collect insurance benefits owed to their families. It is my hope that this legislation will help bring closure to efforts by Armenia’s who have been frustrated in pursuing claims against insurers for claims made by victims of the Armenian Genocide and their heirs," said Senator Poochigian.

Senate Bill 1915 will now be heard on the Assembly Floor in approximately two weeks.

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