Lawyers of descendants of Armenian Genocide victims to appeal against
U.S Court of Appeals decision
29.08.2009 12:56 GMT+04:00


/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Attorneys representing heirs of Armenian Genocide
victims seeking life insurance payments on relatives' policies before
2010 will appeal a ruling by a federal court, which rejected a
California law that allowed the pursuit of such matters, attorney Mark
Geragos told Asbarez Thursday. The appeal is set to be filed prior to
September 10th.

In a telephone interview, Geragos, who is one of three attorney
representing the victims' heirs, said that attorneys will appeal the
August 20 decision, which said the law amounted to unconstitutional
meddling in US foreign policy, and ask for the matter to be heard by
the entire US 9th Circuit Court of Appeal panel, what is known in
legal terms as an `En Banc' hearing. `It's an absurd ruling¦ A
wrongheaded ruling and we hope to get an `En Banc' hearing,' said
Geragos, explaining that the state law is preempted.

`Feds have not expressed an opinion they've said they have no
opinion,' Mark Geragos said. `This is purely an insurance issue. We
are suing a company that's in Europe. They had policies to pay.' `The
decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals is an affront to the Armenian
American community and, if allowed to stand, sets a dangerous
precedent by rewarding the Turkish Government's efforts on the federal
level to deny and cover-up the Armenian Genocide,' said Armenian
National Committee-Western Region board chairman Vicken
Sonentz-Papazian.

`The message this decision sends is that if you can threaten, cajole
and stonewall the U.S. government into inaction on a `foreign policy'
issue, you can eliminate a valid and righteous claim of an American
citizen in a U.S. court of law,' added Papazian.

Class-action lawsuits brought by heirs of Genocide victims in
California and other states led to a $20 million settlement with New
York Life Insurance Co. in 2005 and a $17 million settlement the s