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Case Summary

Bennigson v. Alsdorf; Alsdorf v. Bennigson; United States v. One Oil Painting Entitled “Femme En Blanc” By Pablo Picasso

Bennigson v. Alsdorf, (Cal. Super. Ct. June 16, 2003) (unreported), aff’d, No. B168200, 2004 WL 803616 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 15, 2004) (affirming that the defendant’s contacts with California were insufficient to justify assertion of personal jurisdiction), review granted, S124828, 2004 Cal. LEXIS 6903 (Cal. July 28, 2004), dismissed, S124828, 2005 Cal. LEXIS 13370 (Cal. Nov. 30, 2005) (dismissing the case pursuant to notice of settlement); see also United States v. One Oil Painting Entitled "Femme En Blanc" by Pablo Picasso, 362 F. Supp. 2d 1175 (C.D. Cal. 2005); Alsdorf v. Bennigson, No. 04 C 5953, 2004 WL  2806301 (N.D. Ill. 2004) (granting a six-month stay awaiting resolution of Bennigson v. Alsdorf).


In 2002, Thomas Bennigson was notified by the Art Loss Register that he was the heir to a Picasso painting that had been looted by the Nazis.  After unsuccessful negotiations with the current possessor, Marilynn Alsdorf, a

good faith purchaser, Bennigson brought suit in a California state court to recover the painting, which Alsdorf had purchased from a New York dealer in 1975.  Alsdorf eventually filed suit as well, bringing an action to quiet title in  Federal District Court in Northern Illinois. The Illinois court stayed her action pending . . . .


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