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CONSUMERS: 1999 PRESS RELEASE

For Release: June 1, 1999
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER QUACKENBUSH APPLAUDS SIGNIFICANT RULINGS BY LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT REGARDING HOLOCAUST ERA INSURANCE CASES

Holocaust Victims Celebrate Huge Breakthroughs in Four Cases Against Generali

SACRAMENTO -- Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush lauded two significant rulings by the Los Angeles Superior Court regarding pending Holocaust-era insurance cases. In one case, the well-known Stern lawsuit, the Court set a trial date for February 9, 2000 and directed that the parties enter into settlement negotiations. On another front, the court denied Generali’s motion to dismiss three other actions, including the Friedman, Sladek and Babos lawsuits. Commissioner Quackenbush submitted papers and arguments supporting these plaintiffs’ positions in their lawsuits.

"We are pleased that these cases are continuing to move toward resolution," said Commissioner Quackenbush. "Specifically, the setting of a trial date in the Stern lawsuit is an enormous breakthrough which we hope portends resolution on a much grander scale."

The trial date of February 9, 2000, set by Superior Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper marks the first trial date ever assigned to any Holocaust-related litigation in the United States or Europe. The trial date will force the litigation in California to move forward at a quickening pace.

"The Superior Court’s decision to deny Generali’s motion to dismiss sends an unequivocal message to all insurance companies with outstanding Holocaust-era claims. These companies will not be allowed to turn their backs on Holocaust victims and their families and walk away unscathed," said Commissioner Quackenbush.

Commissioner Quackenbush has led the effort on several fronts to ensure the Holocaust-era insurance policies are reopened and settled by insurance companies. Pursuant to Senate Bill 1530, he has coordinated work to collect data and set up a registry so that restitution on Holocaust-era claims can be made promptly, accurately and fully. Commissioner Quackenbush pledged in his 1999 inaugural address to pursue additional funding from the California legislature to fully implement SB 1530.

 

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