A group of Armenian-American lawyers this week sought class-action status for a lawsuit that seeks undisclosed damages from Turkey and Turkish banks for property seized when Armenians were driven from the Turkish Ottoman Empire nearly 100 years ago, according to Associated Press.

The federal suit, which also seeks Turkish recognition of the Armenian genocide, includes one plaintiff from Los Angeles and one from New York. Its attorneys, including L.A. celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos, want class-action status for the action, meaning any Armenian-Americans who claim to have ancestors who were ripped off by the Turkish government and Turkish banks would have an opportunity to join in.

“All of the lawyers involved have relatives who perished or fled the Armenian genocide, which gives it a special poignancy for us,” Geragos told AP.

The attorneys believe an accounting of Armenian cash and property kept by Turkey and its banks could have a value in the billions of dollars.

LA Weekly