Holocaust Suit Reinstated

May 25, 2000

A San Francisco Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated a lawsuit brought by a Holocaust victim’s grandchildren accusing a German insurer of failing to honor a life insurance policy issued before the man’s death.

Earlier this year, a Los Angeles federal judge dismissed the suit saying the company could not be sued in California because it had no ties to the state. But earlier this month, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the judge to reconsider the case and allow the family to gather evidence on the insurer’s California connections.

The company, Ergo Versicherungsgruppe AG, is the successor company to Victoria Insurance of Berlin. The plaintiffs contend that Victoria, and later Ergo, failed to honor policies and stock options held by their grandfather, a prominent member of the Jewish community in pre-World War II Berlin. They also contend that the insurance company owns another company holding property in Orange County, Calif.

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