By Aram Vanetsian in Los Angeles
New York Life Insurance Co. has started to pay compensations to more than 2,000 heirs of victims of the Armenian genocide.
The company agreed to pay compensation to Armenian heirs and legal successors who had been insured by the company in Western Armenia and Turkey and fell victim to the 1915 massacres of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey.
Vartkes Yeghian, one of the lawyers who had brought a case against New York Life, said the corresponding committee had accepted 2,515 of the 5,692 claims and sums began to be paid on Saturday to decedents found eligible to compensation.
Yeghian explained that people living outside Armenia will simply get bank checks in envelops and will cash them at banks. In the case with Armenia an agreement was reached only with one bank and the sum has already been transferred to that bank.
All 5,692 applicants will receive a letter notifying them that their applications was either accepted or rejected.
According to Yeghian, these letters will be received in the USA within several days, and in Armenia it may take up to a couple of weeks.
The greatest share of the sum, around $3,600,000, has been transferred to Armenia where 1,254 people are eligible for compensation. The second largest destination is the United States, to where $2,700,000 have been transferred for 896 people, the third is France, and the fourth is Canada. In total, sums will be received in 26 countries.
The total sum to be paid is $7,954,000. A little more than $3,000,000 will remain, which lawyers will distribute among charity organizations.
Vartkes Yeghian also said that money have already been received from the French Axa Insurance company. “We are only waiting for names to be posted on the internet, as it was done in the case with New York Life. The French government’s consent is needed for that.”
Names of four to five thousand Armenians insured at the French company will appear on the internet in several weeks.
(Note to readers: More information about the Axa settlement can be found at www.armenianinsurencesettlement.com)