Remembering a trailblazer


In any industry, there are people who work in it and people who pass through it, and fortunately there are people who care for it. David DePaolo cared for us and for injured workers across America. Within a moment of meeting him at an industry conference years ago, I instantly knew he had a vision and passion for transforming workers’ compensation into a system from which all stakeholders could benefit.

Regrettably, David died this weekend at the age of 56 while riding his beloved motorcycle in the Malibu Hills. In his far-too-short life, he left an indelible mark on the workers’ compensation community. A workers’ comp attorney by profession, David worked tirelessly to elevate the discussion on industry issues through his popular blog, DePaolo’s World. He also founded WorkCompCentral, a respected news and educational service, and the Comp Laude Awards, a recognition program designed to showcase how much good emanates from the workers’ compensation profession. David was well-known for his regular speaking engagements at industry conferences and events, where he candidly shared his views and advocated for industry improvements.

Last time I spoke to David, he shared his vision for creating a program at Pepperdine University (where he earned his law degree) to train the next generation of claims professionals. Perhaps that vision can become a reality as a tribute to his outstanding legacy.

David made the pursuit of improving the workers’ compensation system his life’s work, and we are all better for it. All of us at Sedgwick send our sympathy to his family and many friends. We will miss his wisdom.

Dave North, President and CEO

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