INSURANCE BRIEFS

INSURANCE BRIEFS

Kansas Insurer Merged

Into Corroon & BlackCorroon & Black Corp. announced Thursday that Dorth Coombs Insurance Inc. has been merged into the firm.

Located in Wichita, Kan., Dorth Coombs is an employee benefit/property and casualty/actuarial consulting firm.

Richard M. Miller, president and chief executive officer of Corroon & Black, said that, Dorth Coombs Insurance is an outstanding firm that began operations in 1933 and has enjoyed considerable growth in recent years and today has 125 employees. Dorth Coombs will become a part of Corroon & Black's Benefits & Specialty Sales Group, which is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn.

W.R. Berkley Plans

To Acquire Brokerage

GREENWICH, Conn. - William R. Berkley, chairman of the board and president of W.R. Berkley Corp., Tuesday announced that an agreement in principle had been reached to acquire C&F Surplus Insurance Brokers Inc. from Exsura Inc., an affiliate of the Travelers Corp.

C&F Surplus is an excess and surplus lines wholesale insurance managing underwriter based in Los Angeles, which underwrites a full range of specialty and commercial general liability coverage. Its gross premiums written during 1987 were approximately $18.5 million.

C&F Surplus presently writes business for the account of Constitution State Insurance Co., a Travlers' subsidiary. After the acquisition, it will operate as part of Berkley's excess and surplus lines group and will utilize the company's Fireman's Insurance Co. of Washington, D.C., as issuing carrier.

The acquisition is subject to the signing of a definitive agreement between the parties.

W.R. Berkley is a holding company whose subsidiaries operate in three major segments of the insurance business: regional property/casualty; excess, surplus and specialty lines; and reinsurance.

Diving Mishap Leads

To Record Settlement

BOSTON - A former swimming star at Northeastern University, who was paralyzed while practicing a new diving technique in 1983, settled his case for $7.25 million.

The settlement was the second highest individual personal injury settlement in Massachusetts history, said Neil Sugarman, the injured man's lawyer.

Kevin Tricarico, 24, of Marlboro, N.J., lost use of both arms and legs in the accident when he was a 19-year-old sophomore. At the direction of coaches, Mr. Tricarico participated in a drill aimed at increasing the distance swimmers gain in dives from blocks in racing starts.

A rope was tied across the pool above the water, and the swimmers were to dive beyond the rope into four feet of water. Mr. Tricarico lost his balance, hit the rope with his chest, over-rotated and hit his head on the bottom of the pool, breaking his neck, Mr. Sugarman said.

Northeastern and its head swimming coach, Janet Swanson, and former assistant swimming coach Paul Miles, will pay most of the settlement, Mr.

Sugarman said. The coaches are covered by insurance.

AMC Agrees to Settle

Jeep Accident Suit

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - American Motors Corp. agreed this week to pay $11.5 million to a Fort Pierce woman left a quadriplegic after a 1984 rollover accident involving a Jeep.

In return for the settlement, Elizabeth Walker, 34, agreed not to pursue her claim for punitive damages.

The settlement included $9.5 million awarded by a jury in Fort Pierce on April 1, 1986, plus interest. The same jury awarded Ms. Walker $10 million in punitive damages, but that amount was reduced to $1 by the state court of appeals.

The appellate jury, however, recommended that the Florida Supreme Court review the punitive award, said Joe Reiter, one of Ms. Walker's lawyers. Mr. Reiter said he had intended to seek the original $10 million in punitive damages before the Supreme Court.

Ms. Walker, now a nursing home patient, was riding in a Jeep on May 4, 1984, when it was struck by a car. She was thrown from the Jeep, which then rolled onto her, and suffered a broken neck.