The lawsuits were filed under authority of a state law sponsored years ago by Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) when he served in the state Senate.
Two insurance companies, New York Life Insurance Co. and AXA, S.A., previously agreed to settle the cases for $37.5 million, according to Brian Kabateck, an attorney for Movsesian and others.
The case, Movsesian vs. Victoria Verischerung, has continued against two German insurance companies.
"It's the first time that an appellate court has recognized in such detail all of the efforts of genocide [recognition] in one place, and as a practical matter it gives the ability to seek reparations," said Mark Geragos, a lead attorney for the case and resident of La Cañada Flintridge.
Lawsuits have also been filed against a bank and the Republic of Turkey, said Geragos, and others may follow before the end of the year.
"I've argued for a long time the real 'R' word now should not be 'recognition,' it should be 'reparations,' making this case ground zero for the Armenian movement and cause," Geragos said.
Last year, the federal court panel said the lawsuit should be tossed out because only the federal government, not states, can craft policies that affect foreign affairs. But the court subsequently agreed to rehear the case, and on Friday, the panel voted 2-1 to reverse its 2009 decision, with Judge Dorothy Nelson changing her opinion.
"The whole argument as previously formulated is somewhat nonsensical. They were calling inaction [by Congress to officially recognize the genocide] a negative action. Nobody disputes the fact that a million and a half Armenians were slaughtered, except maybe Turkey and their agents," said Geragos.