Genocide Victims Insurance Claims Bill Sent to Governor

* Senators Schiff–Poochigian urge passage of bill and recourse for Genocide victims.

SACRAMENTO–Senate Bill 1915 received the unanimous approval of both houses of the California legislature–after passing in the State Senate Tuesday by a vote of 39-0. The bill has been sent to the Governor for his signature.

Senate Bill 1915 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.

In his remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday Senator Adam Schiff (D-Burbank)–a principal co-author of the Armenian Genocide Victims Insurance Claims bill (SB 1915)–called for unanimous support and highlighted the importance of making certain that Armenian heirs be permitted a fair forum in which to resolve their claims against insurance companies.

After voting to send the bill to the Governor–Senator Schiff observed–"We have taken an important step today in providing lawful redress to victims of the Armenian Genocide who have every right to relief under policies they purchased."

Thousands of Armenian Genocide survivors and the heirs of Armenian Genocide victims that are residents of the State of California have been deprived of their contractual entitlement to benefits under insurance policies issued in Europe and Asia by insurance companies at the time of the Armenian Genocide. SB 1915 will ensure victims and their heirs an expeditious–inexpensive–and fair forum in which to resolve their claims for benefits by allowing actions to be brought in California and subject to California law.

"I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for this important measure,’ said Senator Poochigian. `This bill goes beyond the statute of limitation issue. This bill is the recognition by the state of California that the genocide occurred and that the victims deserve state assistance in overcoming legal obstacles to their legitimate claims," said Sen. Chuck Poochigian (R-Fresno)–the author of the bill.

`For decades–families have sought to resolve insurance claims relating to the Armenian Genocide. However–because of the total destruction suffered by the Armenian community–it has been difficult for the heirs of victims of the Genocide to document that their family members were insured,’ said Senator Poochigian. `We have an obligation to make certain that families that have not been able to prove their claims–are given the tools needed to finally collect insurance benefits owed to them," added Poochigian.

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