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Exploitation of Residents at Wasserstein and Lazard-linked Senior Care Facilities Exposed
Date:7/7/2008

Lazard CEO Bruce Wasserstein comes under fire as healthcare workers' union informs residents, families that Atria senior care facilities value private equity gain over safety measures; Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films releases documentary exposing Lazard and Wasserstein greed

NEW YORK, July 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) launched an online campaign today to bring attention to ongoing safety concerns at leading assisted living provider Atria Senior Living, as well as the controversial business practices of its parent, Lazard Real Estate Partners, a private equity fund affiliated with Lazard Ltd. While costs have increased for Atria residents and some Lazard executives celebrate record compensation, problems with resident care persist. Beginning today, Web ads running on some of the world's largest news sites will highlight Atria's gouging of its elderly residents.

"One complaint regarding the safety of residents of Atria facilities is enough to warrant concern," said SEIU president Andy Stern. "The hundreds of complaints we're hearing make it an epidemic. The Lazard private equity fund's mission to squeeze profit out of its companies is responsible for some of the problems at Atria, and the families of the more than 14,000 residents of Atria senior care facilities have both a right and a need to hear about it."

The ads coincide with the online release of a new expose of Bruce Wasserstein by Brave New Films, a new media venture of acclaimed documentary-maker Robert Greenwald. The video is available at HYPERLINK "http://www.improveassistedliving.org/" http://www.ImproveAssistedLiving.org. Ad samples are also available upon request.

The film, titled "Gouging Grandma: Billionaire Bruce Wasserstein," follows Robin Berson, the daughter of an Atria resident, and Dino Vallenes, a maintenance worker at an Atria facility, as they travel to Bermuda to speak out at Lazard Ltd.'s annual shareholder meeting.

"Lazard can pay its principals princely sums while its affiliates treat the most vulnerable among us this way?" asked Robert Greenwald, founder of Brave New Films. "Not in my book: Wasserstein needs to be called to the mat for his indifference to how cost-cutting hurts Atria residents and workers."

More information on the connections between Lazard, Wasserstein, and Atria Senior Living can also be found on HYPERLINK "http://www.lazardunveiled.org/" http://www.LazardUnveiled.org.


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SOURCE SEIU Healthcare
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