Employment Tribunal rejects Government appeal over weight loss surgery

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The Full Bench of the South Australian Employment Tribunal has this week dismissed appeal by the Department of Premier & Cabinet against an earlier Tribunal decision, where the Tribunal awarded the cost of weight loss surgery to an injured worker.

The worker had suffered serious injuries to her knees at work. Her treating orthopaedic surgeon recommended weight loss to reduce the pressure on her knees. After exhausting other weight loss methods, the worker underwent gastric bypass surgery, resulting in significant weight loss. The worker gave evidence that he weight loss resulted in an improvement in her knee pain levels and functioning..

The trial judge found that the costs of the surgery were “reasonably incurred ..in consequence of (the worker) having suffered injury to her knee at work”

The government appealed the decision mostly on the basis that the trial judge failed to provide sufficient reasons. In rejecting that argument, the Full Tribunal held that the accepted evidence of the worker’s doctors “provided adequate support” for the trial judge’s conclusion.

You can read the single judge’s decision here and the Appeal judgment here.

Here at legal office – Moloney & Partners we were very happy to have helped this worker achieve this outcome after a long battle with the employer.

If you have been injured at work and are unsure of your rights, contact us now for a no obligation telephone discussion.