Alsdorf v. Bennigson, Case No. 04 C 5953 (Picasso painting stolen by Nazis)Andrew M. Hale was retained as local counsel on behalf of the defendant Thomas Bennigson
Alsdorf v. Bennigson, Case No. 04 C 5953 (Picasso painting stolen by Nazis)Andrew M. Hale was retained as local counsel on behalf of the defendant Thomas Bennigson, a California resident who claimed that he was the rightful owner of Picasso’s painting “Femme en blanc” (“Woman in White”). Chicago resident Marilyn Alsdorf purchased the painting from a New York gallery in 1975 for $357,000. Bennigson claimed the Nazis stole the painting from his grandmother during World War II. Bennigson’s grandmother, Carlotta Landsberg, bought the painting in Berlin in the mid-1920′s. When Landsberg fled to the United States, she entrusted the painting to collector Justin K. Thannhauser, who himself soon had to flee. The painting was subsequently looted from Thannhauser’s warehouse. Bennigson filed suit in California seeking recovery of the painting. Alsdorf filed her own suit in Chicago, claiming she was the rightful owner of the painting. In 2005, Alsdorf agreed to pay Bennigson $6.5 million to Bennigson to settle the parties’ litigation. Bennigson’s California counsel was E. Randol Schoenberg.