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Posted Sunday, August 30, 1998


The Wire: News from the Associated Press


Italy's largest insurer approves settlement in Holocaust claims

Aug. 28, 7:38 p.m.

MILAN, Italy (AP) The board of directors for Italy's largest insurance company approved Friday a $100 million settlement in a lawsuit alleging it refused payment on the Nazi-era policies of Holocaust survivors and victims.

Under the settlement, Assicurazioni Generali will pay $10 million immediately to Holocaust survivors and heirs, with the rest to be paid upon approval of the settlement by a U.S. federal judge.

The company cautioned it would revoke the settlement if any of the parties involved balk at the offer. If that happens, Generali said, it would subscribe solely to an international commission being created to resolve such claims worldwide.

With the settlement, announced earlier this month, Generali became the first insurer to resolve allegations relating to its conduct after the Holocaust. Also earlier this month, Swiss banks Credit Suisse Group and UBS AG agreed to pay $1.25 billion to settle allegations that they improperly held onto assets belonging to survivors and families.

Generali also agreed to open its records to examination and will assist plaintiffs' attorneys in pursuing claims for policyholders against Central and Eastern European countries. Generali says insurance monopolies in those countries seized Generali assets that should have gone to Holocaust claimants and "remain negligent in fulfilling their legal responsibility."

Copyright 1998 AP News Service.

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