Armenian Groups Receive Payments
By Rachana Rathi, Times Staff Writer
Los angeles Times
March 1, 2005
Three local Armenian civic organizations received $333,333 each
Monday as part of a $20-million settlement of a lawsuit by New York
Life Insurance Co.
In all, $3 million was split among nine Armenian organizations,
including the Armenian Church of North America Western Diocese in
Burbank, the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Los
Angeles and the Armenian Educational Foundation in Glendale.
“The organizations that were selected were charities that helped
people like my grandparents get started, get a new life, feed them,
clothe them,” said Brian S. Kabateck, an attorney of Armenian descent
who worked on the case. “Today was a way to repay them for the way
they helped Armenians who arrived in this country after the genocide.”
About 1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of Turks between 1915
and 1923, and tens of thousands were deported.
The lawsuit, filed by heirs of Armenian genocide victims, accused the
insurance company of failing to honor valid claims. Of the remaining
$17 million, $4 million was allotted for attorney’s fees, $2 million
for administrative fees and $11 million for individual claims.
Any unclaimed money will be distributed to Armenian charities, said
Paul Krekorian, a member of the three-person board appointed by
California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi in late September
to evaluate claims.
About 770 claims were submitted since the settlement, but not all of
them have been validated, according to its administrator.
The claims typically range from $15,000 to $20,000, according to
New York Life published a list of more than 2,400 policies issued to
Armenians in the Ottoman Empire before 1915 that were not paid.
Descendants who haven’t already filed a claim for a portion of the
settlement must do so by March 16.