There is an interesting decision out of Indianapolis where a board has ruled that Boston’s Gourmet Pizza must pay for weigh-loss surgery of a 340-pound employee, Adam Childers, after he suffered a back injury at work.
Boston’s Gourmet Pizza will have to pay for a lap-band surgery for Childers under a 4-3 decision of the workers’ compensation board. The company is seeking a rehearing and cannot comprehend the ruling, but, as the company’s slogan says, “Eating is Believing.”
Childers was 25 and weighed 340 pounds when he was accidentally struck by a freezer door in March 2007. The doctors said that he could not fully recover unless he lost weight — particularly after his weight rose to 380 pounds after the surgery. The cost of the weight loss operation would be as much as $25,000.
This is only the latest case to rule that businesses must pay for weight-loss treatments. Indeed, on August 27th, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that state insurance must cover gastric bypass surgery for a man recovering from knee surgery under the same theory. In that case, Edward G. Sprague initially injured his knee as a mechanic in 1976 when he weighed 225 pounds. He injured his knee again (after an earlier surgery) while working at a bakery (he weighed 320 pounds). For the Oregon story, click here/
The concern is that businesses may be less likely to hire obese people to avoid such added costs.
For the full story, click here