Senate bill allows Holocaust survivors to sue for unpaid claims


(JTA) — A bill that would give Holocaust survivors the right to sue European companies for unpaid life insurance claims was introduced in the U.S. Senate.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D.-Fla.) offered the bill on the floor of the Senate Wednesday, two days before a planned protest by Holocaust survivors at a Nelson fundraising event in Miami Beach with President Obama, the Miami Herald reported Thursday.

Nelson reportedly has been working on the legislation since early February at the request of the Miami-based Holocaust Survivors’ Foundation-USA, which had announced the demonstration.

Last month, the survivors’ group held a protest at a golf tournament in Boca Raton, Fla., sponsored by the international insurance company Allianz, which survivors say owes an estimated $2 billion in unpaid claims to Holocaust survivors.

"People who are wronged are entitled to seek justice,” Nelson said in a statement issued late Wednesday, according to the newspaper.

“It is now our expectation to work with Congress and the White House to restore our rights and address the survivors’ desperate needs that have been ignored for so long,” read a statement by the survivors’ foundation.

South Florida survivors told the Miami Herald that Nelson promised them in his Washington office three years ago that he would file legislation to allow them to sue European companies that sold life insurance policies to their families before World War II.

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