The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the Worker’s Compensation
Board’s prior ruling that an employer, a pizza retailer, must pay
for the weight-loss surgery of an obese employee. All is not as it seems
with this headline; however, as the ruling is based on the Court’s
reliance on medical testimony related to the actual injury the employee
suffered while in the course and scope of his employment, a back injury.
The Indiana Court of Appeals noted the medical evidence was such that
the weight loss surgery was an extension of additional medical care required
to ensure the success of an operation for a back injury.
Adam Childers, a 340 lb. cook employed by Boston’s The Gourmet Pizza,
of Schererville was originally injured by a freezer door. He treating
surgeons testified that while he needed back surgery, the surgery would
not be successful unless he first had weight-loss surgery. The employer,
Boston’s, argued it shouldn’t have to pay because Childers’
weight was a pre-existing condition, but the Indiana Workers’ Compensation
Board and the Court said the company had to pay because his weight and
the accident created a single and continuous injury.