The LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System is a gastric banding system that helps individuals lose and control weight by reducing the amount of food that their stomach can hold at one time. According to the parent-company’s website, the name “LAP-BAND” comes from the minimally invasive surgical technique used (laparoscopy) and the silicone gastric band placed around the top of the upper part of your stomach. The LAP-BAND® System works by helping individuals control their food intake and supporting long term, sustainable weight loss.
Although this procedure is not the type of surgery one might expect to be covered under a Worker’s Compensation claim, one Indiana pizza store has learned that its insurer will do just that. Boston’s, a pizza shop in Schererville, Indiana, was told by an Indiana Appellate Court that its insurer will pay for an employee’s weight loss surgery and a subsequent back surgery. The issue arose after 25-year old and then 340 lb. (he is now listed at 380lbs.) Adam Childers was injured on the job.
Childers was injured in March 2007, when he was hit by the freezer door in the kitchen of Boston’s Gourmet Pizza. The injury, which caused him to fall down, caused Childers heavy back pain that spread to his legs and was said to require an operation. The twist to this story came in when Childers was medically advised that this operation wouldn’t be successful unless he lost some weight. In fact, according to at least one physician’s testimony, there was a possibility that if he lost enough weight the back surgery might even turn out to be unnecessary.
Medical testimony offered during the Worker’s Compensation Board Hearing, however, demonstrated that Childers was unable to lose weight on his own during the period he had his accident, and so his weight situation at that time, when added to the incident, was found to create a “single injury” under a worker’s compensation claim that made him eligible for both the Lap-Band procedure and the subsequent back surgery.