Court won't reopen Nazi reparations case

May 18, 2009 3:49:04 PM PDT
The Supreme Court has turned away a plea from Holocaust survivors who contend that German companies withheld $100 million from a fund for victims of Nazi-era forced labor. The justices declined Monday to revive a lawsuit survivors filed against 17 companies, including BMW, Volkswagen and Deutsche Bank, that paid $2.5 billion into a reparation fund for U.S. claims.

The federal appeals court in Philadelphia had upheld a trial judge's dismissal of the suit involving interest that the plaintiffs contend accrued during a six- to nine-month period when payments to the fund were delayed.

U.S. and German officials negotiated the fund agreement in 1999. The German firms argued that the agreement capped their interest payments at about $50 million. The six named plaintiffs, all Nazi camp survivors living in the U.S., argued that the figure represented the minimum amount of interest, not a cap.

The case is Gross v. German Foundation Industrial Initiative, 08-1106.

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