Cohen & Malad, LLP is proud to have been one of ten firms from around the country to have been appointed by the federal court to serve on the Executive Committee in the class action litigation against Swiss banks to recover assets on behalf of Holocaust survivors and the heirs of Holocaust victims. This historic effort resulted in a $1.25 billion settlement.
In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation
Litigation began in the late 1990s in several federal courts against three Swiss banks alleging that those financial institutions collaborated with and assisted the Nazi regime by concealing the assets of Holocaust victims and withholding them after the war ended. The banks were also alleged to have assisted in the laundering of Nazi funds obtained from the forced sales of the property of Holocaust victims and the profits earned from the slave labor performed by concentration camp inmates. These cases were consolidated in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and presided over by the Honorable Edward R. Korman. The class members were represented by several Holocaust survivors and numerous class counsel.
In an attempt to sidestep the litigation, the Swiss established two separate commissions to explore Switzerland’s role in the Holocaust era and to identify the profits earned and withheld by Swiss banks as a result of the Holocaust. One commission was charged with analyzing individual Swiss bank accounts and verifying assets that were owned by victims of Nazi persecution. The other commission was responsible for examining how money and assets from Nazi activities flowed into Swiss banks. Those commissions were ineffective, and the litigation proceeded. As a result of the litigation, a new claims resolution tribunal was established to award payments to Holocaust survivors and the heirs of Holocaust victims based on the existing information regarding the dormant bank accounts which had been retained by the banks since the end of the war.
Kor v. Bayer AG
Cohen & Malad, LLP also brought class action cases against German corporations on behalf of Holocaust survivors who were subject to inhuman medical experimentation in concentration camps. Those class action cases were settled through a $5 billion fund.
Eva Mozes Kor, a concentration camp survivor and her identical twin sister Miriam were subjected to experiments performed by the infamous Dr. Joseph Mengele. Her suit alleged that Bayer supplied Dr. Mengele with experimental drugs and germs that he injected into his subjects to test their effectiveness. This lawsuit alleged specific examples of horrific experiments that were carried out on thousands of twins — only 200 of whom survived the war.
Human rights cases such as the ones above are the essence of plaintiff’s litigation. We believe in standing up for the rights of people who have been wronged by others whether that’s in Indiana, across the United States, or across the globe. Our class action lawyers are proud of their work in human rights class actions and are available for client referrals or direct inquiries. Contact us by calling 317-636-6481 or complete the website submission form to speak with one of our class action attorneys.