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In Brief


NY attorney general eyes more doc rankings

The New York Attorney General's office is seeking information about programs used by Aetna Inc. and a CIGNA Corp. unit to rank doctors based on quality and cost-effectiveness. In letters sent to the two insurers, the attorney general's office expresses concern that the companies' physician rating programs carry "a significant risk of causing consumer confusion, if not deception." The office expressed similar concerns in a letter sent to a unit of UnitedHealth Group Inc. last month, though that letter went further, noting a possible injunction to halt the program.

City can sue gun dealers in other states: Judge

A federal district court judge ruled last week that New York City can sue out-of-state gun dealers that allegedly sold guns to criminals who used them to commit crimes in the city. U.S. District Court Judge Jack Weinstein rejected the arguments of six out-of-state gun sellers that they could not be sued in New York or federal court because they did not do business in New York. The judge held that New York had demonstrated that the defendants "have been responsible for the funneling into New York of large quantities of handguns used by local criminals to terrorize significant portions of the city's population. The city may seek redress in the Eastern District of New York where many of the New York crimes attributable to defendants' activities take place."

WTC Captive asks court to dismiss lawsuit

WTC Captive Insurance Co. filed a motion to dismiss a multimillion-dollar suit, citing immunity from personal liability for all defendants but the captive itself. That suit—filed last month against WTC Captive, its service providers, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and WTC Captive President and Chief Executive Officer Christine La Sala, among others—alleges that the captive has misused its roughly $1 billion in federal funding by spending millions on legal and other fees to fight injured Ground Zero workers claims rather than compensating them.

Former AIR exec opens consulting firm

Catastrophe modeling pioneer Karen Clark has opened an independent risk management consulting practice to help companies better understand how to use catastrophe models in risk management decision-making. The firm, Karen Clark & Co., is based in Boston. She left her post as president and chief executive officer of AIR Worldwide Corp. in April.

Montpelier buys E&S insurer

Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd. of Bermuda has agreed to buy General Agents Insurance Co. of America Inc., a unit of GAINSCO Inc., for up to $4.75 million plus the amount of policyholder surplus held by the insurer at closing. The company, which writes excess and surplus lines insurance in 38 states, will be renamed Montpelier U.S. Insurance Co. and be based in Scottsdale, Ariz., primarily writing excess and surplus lines business in the continental United States.

CNA executive to lead SCIF

Janet Frank, executive vp-North American field operations for CNA Financial Corp., will become president of the State Compensation Insurance Fund in October. Ms. Frank will succeed Lawrence E. Mulryan, who was named interim president shortly after the troubled workers compensation insurer abruptly fired its president, James C. Tudor, and vp, Renee Koren, in March amid results of an internal review, which in part focused on its group insurance program. Following that move, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, who has regulatory oversight over SCIF, ordered an audit and demanded structural and operational changes at the insurer.

SPARTA Insurance gets A- from Best

Newly launched SPARTA Insurance Co. has been assigned an A- financial strength rating by A.M. Best Co. Inc. SPARTA—an acronym for Specialty Program and Risk Transfer Alternatives—recently purchased Canton, Mass.-based American Employers Insurance Co. It will provide property/casualty insurance and alternative risk transfer products. George L. Estes III serves as SPARTA's chief executive officer.


The American Assn. of Managing General Agents' AAMGA University has established the Michael Snead Memorial Fund in honor of Michael Snead, former chairman of president of Admiral Insurance Co., who died recently....Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group P.L.C. is pairing with a broker in Saudi Arabia—Arab Commercial Enterprises Ltd. in Riyadh—to expand its distribution network in the Middle East....Final Internal Revenue Service regulations published last week update and clarify expenses that employees can pay through dependent care flexible spending accounts....ACE Overseas General formed an international construction practice to provide insurance products for private and public risks. ACE International Construction will operate in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Latin America.