Fans of My 600-lb Life have become emotionally invested in the journeys of the morbidly obese individuals featured on the reality series. Unfortunately, a number of these cast members have filed lawsuits against the show's production company, Megalomedia, claiming it's been negligent, emotionally damaging, and, on numerous occasions, has failed to pay for medical expenses as promised.
The formula for the hit TLC series has remained the same through the many years it's been on the air. Under the guidance of Dr. Younan Nowzaradan (affectionately known as Dr. Now) and his specialized diet and exercise regimen, a different person each episode attempts to lose enough weight to qualify for weight-loss surgery.
Despite their best intentions, many of the My 600-lb Life stars fail to meet their goals. For others, though, their lives are dramatically transformed thanks to the show.
'My 600-lb Life' lawsuits piled up following the death of James "LB" Bonner.
Although there haven't been any lawsuits directed at Dr. Now, a number of My 600-lb Life stars have taken legal action against the show's production company, Megalomedia.
James "LB" Bonner was featured in Season 6 of My 600-lb Life, and he ended up losing hundreds of pounds because of the help he received. Tragically, he died by suicide in 2018 at age 30.
Years later, the Bonner family sued Megalomedia for gross negligence, according to Starcasm, claiming the production company was partially responsible for LB's death. They alleged that Megalomedia had refused to pay LB's medical bills, which they'd promised to cover, pressured him into filming when he wasn't ready, and failed to provide LB with mental healthcare despite the troubling signs he'd displayed.
David Bolton sued 'My 600-lb Life' for psychological damages.
David Bolton appeared in Season 6 of My 600-lb Life. In 2020, he filed a lawsuit against Megalomedia, claiming it had failed to pay for his medical expenses and had failed to provide him with mental healthcare in order to process his dramatic weight loss, according to Reality Blurb.
Additionally, David claimed that the show had put ratings above his well-being — and even manipulated his family members to make his situation look more dramatic than it was, which took a "tremendous psychological toll" on the cast member.
He sought more than $1 million in damages.
Maja Radanovic sued the 'My 600-lb Life' production company, too.
Viewers were introduced to Maja Radanovic during Season 7 of My 600-lb Life. At the beginning of her episode, she weighed in at more than 700 pounds. However, she was able to drop a lot of weight with the help of Dr. Now.
Maja was less than impressed with how Megalomedia handled her case, though. She filed a lawsuit against the production company for not providing adequate mental healthcare, allegedly pushing "unbeknownst participants to the edge of an emotional cliff," and not covering her healthcare costs, according to Starcasm.
Gina Krasley also filed a lawsuit.
Season 8 star Gina Krasley alleged that Megalomedia was negligent for a number of reasons, according to the New York Post, including intentionally causing distress for ratings, not providing counseling before she started a low-calorie diet, failing to train its employees to recognize mental distress in patients, and failing to provide adequate healthcare services during filming.
Tragically, Gina died in August 2021.
Other 'My 600-lb Life' stars have filed lawsuits against Megalomedia.
Dottie Perkins from Season 4 filed a lawsuit against Megalomedia for gross negligence, according to Cinema Blend. In her suit, she accused the My 600-lb Life production company of lying about her weight, making her eat unhealthy foods so that she would gain weight and become hospitalized, and not paying her medical bills despite promising to do so.
Meanwhile, Nicole Lewis from Season 5 sued Megalomedia for fraud after the company agreed to pay for skin-removal surgery, then failed to do so.
Season 7's Jeanne Covey also filed a lawsuit against the show's production company, claiming Megalomedia forced her and her mother to keep filming after her father died during the shooting of her episode. She also said Megalomedia made up a lot of her story in order to reinforce the narrative of failure that they were trying to push.
Annjeanette Whaley, also from Season 7, filed a lawsuit against the My 600-lb Life production company for not paying her medical bills, despite promising to do so.
Hopefully, this barrage of lawsuits has prompted the production company to rethink some of their practices in order to avoid similar legal action from future My 600-lb Life participants.
Catch new episodes of My 600-lb Life Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on TLC.