As you may know, the heirs of Armenians who had purchased life insurance from New York Life Insurance Compnay in the Ottoman Empire prior to 1915 filed a class action lawsuit, Marootian v. New York Life, in US District Court. The heirs contended that upon the deaths of the policyholders, many of whom were murdered by Turks during the Armenian Genocide, New York Life did not pay the benefits on these policies.
Last year, New York Life agreed to settle the class action suit by paying a total of $20 million, including up to $11 million for the individual heirs of the policyholders and at least $3 million for specified Armenian charities. The settlement also called for the creation of an "Armenian Insurance Settlement Fund Board," appointed by California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi. I have the honor of having been appointed to the Board, along with my colleagues Berj Boyajian and Viken Manjikian.
The job of the Board is to evaluate individual claims and determine which have merit and are entitled to payment pursuant to the settlement agreement. The Board is scheduled to begin considering these individual claims as early as next month. In order to be eligible for consideration, however, all potential claimants must file a simple "Notice of Claim" form with the Board. The form must be postmarked no later than March 16. Anyone who believes there is even a possibility that they are the heir of a New York Life policyholder whose benefits were not paid must submit the form before that deadline in order to avoid waiving the right to recover. Claims may come from anywhere in the world.
For further information or to obtain a Notice of Claim form, please do not contact me directly, but rather call the toll free information line at 1-866-422-0124 or visit www.armenianinsurancesettlement.com
The website includes useful information about the settlement, FAQs, and a partial list of New York Life policyholders from the relevant period (note, however, that it is NOT necessary that your ancestor's name appear on the list in order to submit a Notice of Claim). I encourage you to forward this message to any Armenians whom you think may benefit from this information, anywhere in the world.
Very truly yours, Paul Krekorian, Armenian Insurance Settlement Fund Board