Yeghiayan Law Firm to Sue For Confiscated Armenian lands
The Law Firm of Vartkes Yeghiayan announced last week that in conjunction with Turkish attorneys it is preparing to file lawsuits in Turkey on behalf of Armenian clients for lands and properties that were confiscated by the Ottoman government under the notorious “Abandoned properties” laws during and after the Genocide years.
The attorneys have agreed to work on a contingency basis (at a rate of roughly 33.3%). As a first step in the litigation process, the Yeghiayan law firm and Turkish attorneys will choose a handful of cases from a selection of several hundred property deeds that have the best chance of success in a Turkish court.
More than 16 years ago, the Law Firm of Vartkes Yeghiayan and Associates filed a class action lawsuit against the New York Life Insurance Company for its failure to pay the heirs of Ottoman Armenian policyholders in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide — the first such case of demanding restitution. The successful resolution of that case, which resulted in a $20 million settlement for the plaintiffs, was followed by payments made to descendants of Greek and Assyrian policy owners and, subsequently, a settlement for $17.5 million with French insurance giant AXA.
In recent years, the Yeghiayan law firm continued its quest for justice for the victims of the genocide, having expanded its scope by seeking to recover looted art, in its representation of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Aplanostolic Church. The case involved eight precious folios from the famed Zeytun Gospel held at the J. Paul Getty Museum, which resulted in a settlement with Getty recognizing the Church’s legal ownership of the pages, but retaining custody after the church “donated” the pages to the museum.
The law firm has also filed lawsuits on behalf of the heirs of Armenian property owners who hailed from such former Ottoman towns and cities as Incirlik and Aintab.