Pending legislation would give allow survivors to sue major European firms in U.S. courts over Pre-war insurance policies

Legislation that would allow Holocaust survivors to sue European companies for unpaid life insurance benefits worth an estimated $20 billion has passed its first test in Congress. The bill, authored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, was unanimously approved by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Wednesday. Next stop: the House Judiciary Committee. The legislation would give survivors the right to sue Germany’s Allianz SE, Italy’s Assicurazioni Generali and other major European firms in U.S. courts to recover the value of life insurance policies bought before WWII. It would also force those companies to disclose lists of policies held by Jews during that era. “This bill is the last hope for Holocaust survivors to obtain justice,” said Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the foreign affairs committee.