Dallas, 05/08/2017 /SubmitPressRelease123/
According to WebMD, sleep apnea is a “serious sleep disorder” that interrupts an individual’s breathing during sleep. So why would the U.S. Supreme Court be involved with sleep apnea?
The trucking industry.
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case involving a trucking carrier company’s sleep apnea program. The case, Parker v. Crete Carrier Corp, involved an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) challenge in which a truck driver claimed that the trucking company he worked for discriminated against him in violation of the ADA by requiring him to undergo sleep apnea testing due to his weight. The trucking carrier’s policy was to require all drivers with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or above to undergo the testing.
High Court Defers to Lower Court in Trucking Sleep Apnea Case
The truck driver who brought the discrimination lawsuit said he did not suffer from sleep apnea and shouldn’t be required to submit to testing simply because of his weight. The driver claimed in his lawsuit that his employer took him “out of service” after he refused to comply with a sleep study per the company’s testing requirements.
The trucker also claimed Crete Carrier fired him for refusing to take the test, even after he supplied a written note from his personal physician certifying that he didn’t suffer from sleep apnea..
Both the federal district court in Nebraska and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the carrier company in deciding that the testing requirements were necessary due to the nature of the trucker’s job, which made the testing permissible under the ADA.
The truck driver appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which said it will not hear the case. This means that the lower court’s decision stands. Amy Witherite, 1800TruckWreck co-founder and principal, said, “Currently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which sets federal rules for the trucking industry, does not require carrier companies to test for sleep apnea. However, the agency does recommend that all carrier companies conduct sleep apnea testing for truckers with a BMI of 33 or higher.”
The Dangers of Sleep Apnea on the Road
Although the FMCSA doesn’t have an official rule that makes sleep apnea testing in the trucking industry mandatory, research shows that sleep apnea is a serious condition that can make people drowsy behind the wheel. For this reason, many carrier companies have policies in place that require their drivers to undergo testing for the condition.
According to WebMD, sleep apnea is a “serious sleep disorder” in which an individual’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. In some cases, the condition occurs in people who are overweight, or who have a large neck circumference.
When the body stops breathing during sleep, it can reduce or stop blood flow to the brain, resulting in disturbances in sleep and chronically poor sleep that leaves a person feeling tired all the time. In extreme cases, sleep apnea can also cause sudden death.
If you have been injured in a semi-truck accident, or you have lost a loved one in a tractor-trailer crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries or losses. Don’t wait to speak to an attorney about your case. Call an experienced Texas truck accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Eberstein & Witherite, LLP