All of This Because Somebody Got Hurt at Work

  • POSTED: January 19, 2016
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All-of-This-Because-Somebody-Got-Hurt-at-WorkHummer limos, go-go dancers, a live alligator and glowing aliens in spandex at the national workers’ comp and disability expo. Journey into the little-known workers’ comp industrial complex.

by Michael Grabell
ProPublica, Dec. 29, 2015, 8 a.m.

LAS VEGAS — A scantily clad acrobat dangles from the ceiling, performing flips and splits as machines puff smoke and neon lights bathe the dance floor in turquoise and magenta. Dancers in lingerie gyrate on poles to the booming techno. Actors dressed as aliens pose for selfies with partygoers. There’s an open bar and waiters weave through the crowd passing out chocolate truffles.

It’s the closing night of the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo.

The party at Light, a Cirque du Soleil-themed club at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, capped off the workers’ comp industry’s biggest annual networking event. For three days in November, hundreds of vendors wooed insurers and employers with lavish after-hours parties, giveaways of designer handbags, photos with Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug, and free rides in orange Hummer limousines.

A top manager for a major insurance company recalled standing amid the hoopla a few years back when a company CEO turned to her and marveled: “All of this because somebody got hurt at work.”

Rea entire article here: https://www.propublica.org/article/workers-comp-conferences-expos-and-middlemen

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