WASHINGTON, DC – The US Supreme Court today denied lead plaintiff Harry Arzoumanian’s petition for review of a 9th Circuit Court ruling, in the case of Arzoumanian vs. Munich-Re.

Arzoumanian and other plaintiffs including Garo Ayaltin, Miran Khagerian and Ara Khajerian brought claims against Munich-Re for unpaid insurance claims arising out of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

The lawsuit was first filed by attorney Vartkes Yeghiayan in 2003 and moved through various levels of the appeals process reaching the highest court of law, the US Supreme Court.

The lower court interpreted the California law that allows heirs of genocide survivors to file suit against insurance companies and other entities as an intrusion upon the federal government’s right to conduct foreign relations. The 9th Circuit Court questioned the motives of the California legislature and issued its ruling on the basis of it being preempted by the rights conferred upon the federal government. Petitioners Igor Timofeyev, Lee Boyd, Michael Bazyler, Rajika Shah and Vartkes Yeghiayan were arguing that the issue at hand was one of State powers and that this decision was a clear over-reach of the Federal government upon the State legislature.

(Center for Armenian Remembrance)

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