Governor Signs Armenian Genocide Victims Insurance Claims Bill

SACRAMENTO–Armenian Genocide victims and their heirs will have a fair forum in which to resolve their claims against insurance companies. SB 1915–legislation authored by Senator Chuck Poochigian (R-Fresno) and co-authored by Sen. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) was signed into law Thursday.

"The Armenian community’s support for this bill was invaluable to its success. I am very pleased that the Governor signed SB 1915 as it is a recognition by the State of California that Genocide victims deserve state assistance in overcoming legal obstacles to their legitimate claims," said Sen. Poochigian.

"At a time when there are some in our country and around the world that continue to deny the Armenian Genocide–we in the state of California have not only reaffirmed our commitment to the memory of the Genocide–but have taken tangible steps in restoring dignity and justice to the victims and survivors," said Sen. Schiff.

Thousands of Armenian Genocide survivors and the heirs of Armenian Genocide victims that are residents of the State of California have–too often–been deprived of their contractual entitlement to benefits under insurance policies issued in Europe and Asia by insurance companies prior to–and during the period of 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.

"California has an obligation to ensure families–which can prove their insurance claims–are provided an opportunity to finally collect insurance benefits owed to them. Families have tried to resolve insurance claims related to the Armenian Genocide for many years–but because of the destruction suffered by the Armenian community–it was difficult for the heirs of the victims of the Genocide to document proof of death or that their family members were insured. SB 1915 provides important protection to the heirs," added Poochigian.

Similar provisions were enacted into law in 1998 for victims of the Holocaust.

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