Deal Struck on Claims of Nazi Era

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After nearly 10 years of struggling to have a big Italian insurance company pay claims on life insurance policies sold to victims of the Holocaust, lawyers who say they represent most of the victims are giving up the fight.

They say they have struck a deal with the insurer, Assicurazioni Generali, that will give Holocaust victims and their relatives far less money than they had originally hoped. But the lawyers say that their chances of winning a lawsuit seemed increasingly unlikely and that many of their clients are old and, in some cases, in poor health.

“It’s a compromise,” said Robert A. Swift, a lawyer in Philadelphia who began working on insurance cases from the Holocaust in 1997. “In a perfect world with more leverage, maybe I could have negotiated a better formula. But I’m playing the hand I was dealt.”

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