American Insurance Association v. Garamendi, 539 U.S. 396, 14 (2003)

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Cite as: 539 U. S. 396 (2003)

Opinion of the Court

unfair business practice for any insurer operating in the State to "fai[l] to pay any valid claim from Holocaust survivors." Cal. Ins. Code Ann. 790.15(a) (West Cum. Supp. 2003). The legislature placed "an affirmative duty" on the Department of Insurance "to play an independent role in representing the interests of Holocaust survivors," including an obligation to "gather, review, and analyze the archives of insurers . . . to provide for research and investigation" into unpaid insurance claims. 12967(a)(1), (2).

State legislative efforts culminated the next year with passage of Assembly Bill No. 600, 1999 Cal. Stats. ch. 827, the first section of which amended the State's Code of Civil Procedure to allow state residents to sue in state court on insurance claims based on acts perpetrated in the Holocaust and extended the governing statute of limitations to December 31, 2010. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code Ann. 354.5 (West Cum. Supp. 2003). The section of the bill codified as HVIRA, at issue here,4 requires "[a]ny insurer currently doing business in the state" to disclose the details of "life, property, liability, health, annuities, dowry, educational, or casualty insurance policies" issued "to persons in Europe, which were in effect between 1920 and 1945." Cal. Ins. Code Ann. 13804(a) (West Cum. Supp. 2003). The duty is to make disclosure not only about policies the particular insurer sold, but also about those sold by any "related company," ibid., including "any parent, subsidiary, reinsurer, successor in interest, managing general agent, or affiliate company of the insurer," 13802(b),5 whether or not the companies were related dur-4 Challenges to Cal. Civ. Proc. Code Ann. 354.5 (West Cum. Supp. 2003) and Cal. Ins. Code Ann. 790.15 (West Cum. Supp. 2003) were dismissed by the District Court for lack of standing, a ruling that was not appealed. See Gerling Global Reinsurance Corp. of America v. Low, 240 F. 3d 739, 742-743 (CA9 2001).

5 These terms are further defined in the commissioner's regulations. Cal. Code Regs., Tit. 10, 2278.1 (1996). An "affiliate" company is one that "directly, or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries, controls,


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