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Court rules that employer must pay for weight loss surgery

Boston's The Gourmet Pizza must pay for lap-band surgery for Adam Childers, a cook at the store in Schererville, under last month's Indiana ruling that upheld a 4-3 decision by the state's workers' compensation board.

Childers, who was then 25, weighed 340 pounds in March 2007 when he was accidentally struck in the back by a freezer door. Doctors said he needed surgery to ease his severe pain, but that the operation would do him no good unless he first had surgery to reduce his weight, which rose to 380 pounds after the accident.

His employers agreed to pay for the back surgery, but argued they were not obligated to pay for a weight-loss operation that could cost $20,000 to $25,000, because Childers already was obese before he was hurt.

The board and the court, however, said the surgery — and disability payments while Childers was unable to work — were covered because his weight and the accident had combined to create a single injury. They said Boston's didn't present any evidence that his weight had been a medical problem before the accident.


Okay, so let me get this straight:

1. It's discriminatory to *not* hire someone who is overweight.

2. Employer is now held responsible for employee's weight, even though it had nothing to do with the job itself, and the employee was in fact obese before he was hired.

3. Employer will now be punished for obese employee's life choices.

4. Tort reform is not mentioned in any of the 1000+ plus pages of the current health care reform bill.


MH 1
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