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Appeals court tosses Armenian reparation law

Appeals courts tosses out Calif law allowing Armenians to file lawsuits for reparations By The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ' A federal appeals court is barring descendants of Armenians killed under the Turkish Ottoman Empire from seeking payments from companies accused of reneging on life insurance sold to their relatives.

A unanimous 11-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the California law interferes with Turkey's foreign policy, which is the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government.

The court reversed a prior ruling of a three-judge panel allowing the claims to go forward.

The legal case began in 2000 when the California Legislature passed a law enabling Armenian heirs to file claims with insurance companies for policies sold around the turn of the 20th Century.

A group of heirs in 2003 filed a lawsuit against Munich Re and subsidiaries, alleging failure to honor insurance policies.

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