Garamendi Appoints Members of Armenian Insurance Settlement Fund Board

Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi announced three appointments to the Armenian Insurance Settlement Fund Board. The board was created to oversee the settlement of claims against New York Life Insurance Company as directed in the settlement of a class-action lawsuit on behalf of heirs and descendants of policyholders who were killed during the Armenian Genocide more than 90 years ago.

The board members, Viken Manjikian, Paul Krekorian and Berj Boyajian, will evaluate claims and determine which are to be paid pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement. The board’s decisions will be final with no right of appeal.

“I am honored to appoint these three accomplished, capable and fair individuals who will further the pursuit of justice for heirs and descendants of victims of the Armenian Genocide,” Commissioner Garamendi said. “This is an important step to help bring closure to the victims and their families.”

Early this year, Commissioner Garamendi, after long negotiations, was able to secure a $20 million fund to help fund the payment of claims in the case. New York Life compromised in order to reach a detailed agreement that will benefit both the survivors of the policyholders as well as the Armenian community. Of the $20 million fund, at least $3 million will be put into the ‘Unclaimed/Heirless Fund,’ which will be contributed to court-approved charitable organizations – as set forth in the settlement agreement – whose activities advance the Court-approved charitable interests of the Armenian community.

Manjikian, of Lancaster, is Director of Inpatient and Emergency Radiology, and Director of Vascular and Interventional Radiology at Antelope Valley Hospital. He has extensive credentials in the field of radiology and earned his medical and undergraduate degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Boyajian, of Beverly Hills, operates Boyajian and Associates in Los Angeles. His practice specializes in business and toxic torts, and he has extensive experience in litigation on behalf of individuals and workers exposed to toxic substances.

Krekorian, of Burbank, is a founding partner of the law firm Fisher & Krekorian in Los Angeles. His practice specializes in representation of business, charitable organizations and individuals in matters involving trademark, copyright and commercial disputes.

Potential claimants in the Armenian Genocide case have been informed via Notice by the Court and published statewide. The Department of Insurance consumer hotline will also be able to direct potential claimants to the settlement Web site. Or, call the Department’s hotline at 800-927-HELP (800-927-4357).