Will NBC Be Sued For Making People Fat?

Starbucks faced a lawsuit for using too much ice. McDonald’s was sued for having hot coffee. Halloween Horror Nights was sued for being scary, and a suicidal man filed a lawsuit (and unbelievably won) against the NYC Transit Authority after the subway train he threw himself in front of failed to kill him, but instead tore off two of his limbs. And now, NBC could be sued for making people fat.

That’s right, NBC could face a class action lawsuit for ruining metabolisms of folks from all over the country. Not all folks, of course, just those who participated in their hit show The Biggest Loser. In a recent report by the Hollywood Reporter, readers learned that a former contestant on The Biggest Loser believes the show ruined her health, and subsequently her life, because of metabolic damage. As a result, she has threatened a class action lawsuit against NBC.

Suzanne Mendonca regained 150 pounds after spending time on the show. She also claims she was only eating 800 calories per day, and that she was dehydrated and vomiting much of the time she was on the show. She claims that doing the show was one of the biggest mistakes she ever made and went on to say, “We’re in the process of filing a civil class action against them, they deserve to be responsible.”

A study that was released by the National Institutes of Health and alludes to the fact that participating in the show and experiencing rapid weight loss lowered the contestants’ resting metabolism. A low resting metabolism can make weight management a challenge. This study is Mendonca’s fuel to press forward with her lawsuit.

The study followed more than 12 former participants, and also found that all but one of the subjects had gained weight after the show, but 57 percent maintained at least 10 percent weight loss, which is actually better than other programs. The study states, “We found that The Biggest Loser participants regained a substantial amount of their lost weight in the 6 years since the competition but overall were quite successful at long-term weight loss compared with other lifestyle interventions.”

Attorneys, however, claim that the lawsuit will likely fail and the odds favor The Biggest Loser and NBC instead of the post-show weight gainers. Barry Haldeman, a entertainment industry insider, says that many times reality show contestants will sign anything just to get on TV. “When you sign up to be on a reality show, you sign waivers up the wazoo,” Haldeman says. “Those releases are so one-sided, but they’re the price of admission. I’m sure they have a very, very well written release that says not only can we use your name and likeness but you waive any claims if you’re injured on this show or have any negative medical effects.” NBC would not comment on this statement.

Attorney Jeremiah Reynolds believes it’s highly likely that contestants legally assume all risks when they sign the contract for the show — “She went into it knowing that what they did was an extreme form of dieting.” Reynolds states flatly, “This lawsuit has no chance of ever succeeding.”

In this case, it’s also likely a statute of limitations will hit the brakes on Mendonca’s claim since she was on the show more than ten years ago. And, even if she did manage to file a claim, certifying a class would be nigh impossible.

“There are just too many variables, everything from stress to what they’re eating to how hard they’re working out,” says legal professional Glen Rothstein. “That’s the antithesis of a class action where you’re treating everybody as one big plaintiff.”

So, will NBC for making people fat? We want to hear your verdict. Stay tuned to the Inquisitr for updates on this and thousands of other trending news topics!

[Photo by NBC Newswire/Getty Images]