Colorado

Sep 5, 2009 7:03 AM by Associated Press

Workers' comp insurer defends record to lawmakers

Executives from Colorado's state-chartered workers' compensation insurance company are defending themselves against accusations of lavish spending, excess profits and paying bonuses to employees for denying claims.

Executives told lawmakers Friday that it would be counterproductive for them to mistreat injured workers to increase profits. Pinnacol CEO Ken Ross says the company is proud of its record and says it has become a model for other insurance companies.

Ross also defended huge salaries and bonuses for himself and his employees, including thousands of dollars spent on lavish entertainment that included $1,500 for one night at the Mirage in Las Vegas. Ross says entertaining other insurance executives is part of the job and it helps him recruit top talent.

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