Pizzeria Owner with Celiac Sues Insurance Company

Now this is a bit of news flash I found extremely interesting!  A Michigan pizzeria owner bought a life insurance policy from Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America that included a disability clause.

The owner was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease and was told by his doctor to avoid all contact with gluten.  That’s not something a pizza restaurateur can do easily.  The plaintiff in this case suffered from the usual effects of the disease, including anemia, fatigue, dermatitis herpetiformis, and there was also real concern with the long-term effects of having celiac such as liver disease or type 1 diabetes.  This left him with the choice of continuing his business that might kill him, or claiming disability on his insurance as per his policy that he had in place for nearly twenty years.

The insurance company refused to pay.

The Pizzeria owner sent in the required reasonable proof from his physician.

They still refused to pay.

So, the lawsuit was on. This information I found on the prosecuting attorney’s website.  They were seeking not only the payment due for the disability claim, but also the interest that money would have earned during that time.  I am trying to find the outcome of this lawsuit because I think we would all be interested to know why the insurance company decided it was not a disability and if the little guy won for a change.  All I could find was that in 2011 the insurance company asked the court to dismiss the case.

Let’s hope the judge in this case does not have the same dismissive attitude about Celiac disease and the dangers that gluten have to Celiacs as the insurance company does!


  1. says

    Wow, this is an interesting story. Thanks for sharing. I’ll stay posted to hear the outcome. Yes, let’s hope this isn’t just “dismissed” away!

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