Glendale attorney Vartkes Yeghiayan was recently bestowed with a unique papal medal (cavaleri) by the hand of Archbishop Raphael Minassian at the Armenian diocese in Yerevan. The medal had been awarded by the retired and venerable Pope Benedict XVI in recognition for Yeghiayan’s work and endeavors to secure compensation for Armenian Genocide heirs.
Vartkes Yeghiayan is an Armenian-American attorney specializing in international law. Yeghiayan is known for launching several lawsuits against insurance companies for insurance policies issued to Armenians in the early twentieth century during the time of the Armenian Genocide.
After gathering evidence and finding several descendants of the victims of the Genocide, in 1999 he filed a class action lawsuit against New York Life in a case which lasted for four years. In January 2004, New York Life agreed to settle by paying $20 million to the plaintiffs. Since then Yeghiayan, along with colleagues Mark Geragos and Brian Kabateck, have filed suits against other insurance companies, including AXA, which agreed to settle in 2005 by paying $17.5 million.