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Shelly Leeke Law Firm, LLC

Pizza Shop To Pay Obese Employee's Weightloss Surgery as Part of Worker's Comp Claim

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Adam Childer's was 25 and nearly 340 lbs. when he began working as a cook for Gourmet Pizza in Boston. He was struck by a freezer door while on the job, resulting in a severe back injury. His doctor's said he would require back surgery to alleviate the pain the injury had caused. But, docs said the back surgery would do no good unless the obese worker had gastric bypass surgery prior to  undergoing back surgery. The employer agreed to pay for the back surgery, but refused to pay for weightloss surgery, claiming the employee was overweight before he got hurt. The Indiana court disagreed, ruling that the employee's weight combined with the work accident, resulted in a single, work related injury. This is not the first ruling as of late requiring weightloss surgery as part of worker's compensation treatment. Ohio, Oregan, California, Florida and South Dakota have reached similar rulings. As far as I am aware at the date of this posting, South Carolina worker's compensation commission has not yet ruled on this particular issue. But, with nearly 1/3'd of American's classified as obese, and over 220,000 weight loss surgery last year alone, according to the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, this issue will probably arise soon enough.
Shelly Leeke
South Carolina Injury Lawyer
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