Genocide insurance bill sent to Davis

Claudia Peschiutta

BURBANK -- Whether Armenian Genocide victims or their heirs will be

able to sue U.S. insurance companies for claims stemming from old

policies depends only on the pen of Gov. Gray Davis.

The bill, which seeks to extend the statute of limitations for claims

through 2010, was approved by the state Senate with a 39-0 vote Aug. 22

and sent to Davis for approval.

State Sen. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), a principal coauthor of the bill,

appeared before his peers to urge the legislation's passage.

"I was just trying to highlight the importance of providing redress,"

Schiff said. "These families bought insurance policies, often from

American companies, to protect their lives and goods prior to and during

the genocide and have never had the opportunity to make a claim on those

policies."

About 1.5-million Armenians were killed when exiled by the Ottoman

Turks in 1915. The Turkish government denies genocide allegations.

The legislation had been approved earlier this year but was returned

to the state Senate after an urgency clause -- which would make it go

into effect immediately after being signed by the governor -- was added,

Schiff said.

The state senator said he was confident Davis would sign the bill.

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