A Supreme Court ruling may make it easier for trucking companies to ask drivers in South Carolina and elsewhere to submit to sleep apnea testing. The court ruled against a driver for Crete Carrier Corp. saying that they didn’t violate his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The man said that he was fired after refusing to take sleep apnea tests. His lawsuit claimed that he was only asked to take the test because of his BMI.
Crete asked the man to take the test despite a letter from his doctor saying that they were not necessary. According to one employment law attorney, courts are generally loathe to classify obesity as a disability under the ADA. Now that the ruling has been issued, workers may be required to both submit to and pay for their own sleep apnea tests.
The main concern for those who have sleep apnea is that they will become drowsy while driving. Research has shown that those with the condition get into five times as many preventable accidents compared to those who do not have the condition. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which causes people to stop breathing in regular cycles while they sleep. Obesity is one factor that may increase a person’s risk of getting the condition.
A truck accident may cause serious injuries to both the driver of the truck as well as drivers or passengers in other vehicles. Those who are hurt because of a negligent driver may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. Compensation may help to pay medical bills, recoup lost wages or make up for lost future earnings. It may also make up for the fact that an injured victim may have a lower quality of life.