INSURANCE BRIEFS

INSURANCE BRIEFS

John Hancock Unit

Plans Sale to AcmatHARTFORD, Conn. - Acmat Corp. said Thursday that it signed a letter of intent with a unit of John Hancock Property & Casualty Holding Co. to buy all of the shares of stock of an unidentified property/casualty company that is wholly owned by the Hancock unit.

Acmat said the purchase price, which will be paid in cash, will equal the market value of the property/casualty company's financial assets at the time of the closing plus $7.5 million. Closing is expected within 60 to 90 days.

Aetna Life Teams Up

With Mitsubishi Trust

TOKYO - Aetna Life and Casualty Co. will team up in April with Mitsubishi Trust and Banking Corp. to market pension fund certificates in the United States, a Mitsubishi official said Thursday.

The certificates initially will be marketed to Japanese companies operating in the United States and then to U.S. corporations, the official said.

Aetna initially will manage parts of Mitsubishi's pension reserves collected from Japanese and U.S. pensioners.

The Japanese government is believed to be preparing to permit banks and investment management companies to participate in the Japanese pension fund business, ending the monopoly by trust banks and insurance companies.

Subcontractor Named

In L'Ambiance Suit

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Eleven months after L'Ambiance Plaza collapsed, killing 28 workers, victims and families involved have filed only three lawsuits but their lead attorney promises many more.

The victims and families on Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit against a project subcontractor, alleging that the company sold a defective product that contributed to the disaster.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, claims that Texstar Construction Co. of San Antonio, Texas, supplied defective lifting collars, a steel component used in the lift-slab construction technique, said Richard Beider, lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

Handling of Reports

On Audis Challenged

WASHINGTON - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Volkswagen appear to be working together to keep the public from learning if sudden acceleration is still a problem in Audi 5000 cars, a congressman said Wednesday.

NHTSA, which last year ordered a massive recall of the vehicles, has failed to press Volkswagen of America Inc. to place post-recall reports of sudden acceleration on the public record, Rep. George Hochbrueckner, D-N.Y., said.

In a letter to NHTSA, Rep. Hochbrueckner said he was disturbed by evidence . . . which suggests that NHTSA willingly acquiesced to (Volkswagen's) refusal to turn over the incident reports.

NHTSA is auditing its January 1987 recall of 255,336 1978-86 Audi 5000s for installation of the throttle device. The agency has received 1,750 complaints of sudden acceleration in Audi 5000s, resulting in 1,269 accidents, 430 injuries and five deaths.