• Subscribe to the AG's RSS Feed
  • Join the AG's FaceBook
  • Follow the AG on Twitter
  • View the AG's YouTube Channel

Attorney General Lockyer Says U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Harms California's Ability to Provide Justice for Victims of Slave Labor

Monday, June 23, 2003
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today issued the following comment regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in American Insurance Association, et al., v. John Garamendi, Insurance Commissioner, State of California.

"I am extremely disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling striking down a California law aimed at addressing historical wrongs committed by Nazi Germany, which engaged in genocide, slavery and the theft of Jewish assets, including life and property insurance policies.

"Today's ruling places the interests of the world's insurance companies ahead of Holocaust victims and the people of California. It will make it more difficult for survivors of the Holocaust and their relatives to obtain justice. It also denies Californians access to information they need to make informed decisions about their own insurance policies.

"I respectfully disagree with the court's finding that California's law interferes with the ability of the United State's government to enact and implement foreign policy. The law merely asks that insurance companies that choose to do business in California embrace a basic American value by taking responsibility for their actions. The court's sweeping opinion casts doubt on the fate of other state laws currently being challenged in court that seek to achieve the same objective."

In 1998, California made it an unfair business practice for any insurer operating in the state to fail to pay any valid claim from Holocaust survivors. The law struck down by the court today required insurance companies to turn over policy documentation in their possession, and those who refused would not be permitted to operate in this state.

Four other related cases currently are being litigated. Two are before the California Supreme Court, and two other 9th Circuit rulings are pending before the U.S. Supreme Court on petitions for writ of certiorari. The California Supreme Court has agreed to hear Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, et al. v. Superior Court, and Taiheijo Cement Corporation, et al. v. Superior Court. The cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court are Kim, Suk Yoon, et al. v Ishikawajima Harima Industries, and Tenney v. Mitsui & Co., Ltd., et al.

# # #

Press Office Contacts

Email: agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

Phone Number: (415) 703-5837


Megan's Law

California Registered Sex Offender Database

Search Now

Site Navigation

Translate Website

  • Google™ Translation Disclaimer

This Google™ translation feature is provided for informational purposes only.

The Office of the Attorney General is unable to guarantee the accuracy of this translation and is therefore not liable for any inaccurate information resulting from the translation application tool.

Please consult with a translator for accuracy if you are relying on the translation or are using this site for official business.

If you have any questions please contact:Bilingual Services Program at (916) 324-5482

A copy of this disclaimer can also be found on our Disclaimer page.

Select a Language Below / Seleccione el Idioma Abajo

Close this box or use the [ X ]