Obesity

News & Analysis as of

FDA Approves AspireAssist Obesity Device

On June 14, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AspireAssist, an obesity treatment device that uses a surgically-placed tube to drain a portion of the stomach contents after every meal. According to a press...more

Is Obesity a Disability Under the ADA Not Without Physical Impairment Eighth Circuit Rules

Obesity does not meet the definition of a “disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for either the discrimination or “regarded as” provisions of the statute, a panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals...more

Morbid Obesity Must Have Physiological Cause to Gain ADA Protection

Since the Americans with Disabilities Act was adopted, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has considered morbid obesity to fall within the definition of a protected disability. Earlier this month, the Eighth Circuit...more

Courts Cut the Fat, Clarify When Obesity is a Disability Under the ADA

The ADA prohibits discrimination based upon actual or perceived medical disabilities and requires employers to accommodate employees with disabilities subject to certain exceptions. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 effectively...more

Obesity Alone as a Disability? Slim Chance, Says Eighth Circuit

A memorable scene from the dark comedy “In Bruges” features a clash between a disgraced Irish assassin, played by Colin Farrell, and three portly American tourists after Farrell’s character warns them not to climb the narrow...more

Obesity Not A Disability Without An Underlying Medical Cause

In June of last year, we pondered whether obesity is a mere physical characteristic or a disability protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as now amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act...more

Question #274: Opining on Obesity

Question: We have a large meat processing facility in Northern Minnesota. We were recently hiring for one of our positions in the plant requiring work with large mechanical equipment. Because we consider this position to be...more

Is Obesity A “Per Se” Disability? One Court Says No.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled this week that obesity is not a “disability” within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act — even as amended in 2009 — unless the condition was...more

Eighth Circuit Holds That Obesity That Is Not Caused By an Underlying Physiological Condition Is Not a Covered “Impairment” Under...

In Morriss v. BNSF Railway Company, the Eighth Circuit recently held that obesity that is not caused by an underlying physiological condition is not a covered “impairment” for purposes of the Americans with Disabilities Act...more

Retaliation Weigh-in – Don’t Be the Biggest Loser

While watching the Biggest Loser may be entertaining or even inspiring, dealing with an overweight employee may be a human resources nightmare. A person’s weight is a delicate topic in almost any conversation. When an...more

Guest Post -- The Emergent Microbiome: A Revolution for the Life Sciences – Part III, Obesity and other Metabolic Disorders

The gut microbiome, a collection of microbes living in the gastrointestinal tract, has emerged as an attractive target for pharmaceutical intervention for the treatment of a variety of disorders. This is the fourth article...more

What Tips the Scale? Obesity as a Perceived Disability Under the ADA

Employers often call with questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as they navigate when and how to make reasonable accommodations for employees with known disabilities. Most are generally familiar with the...more

Something is Rotten at the Pork Roll Company … and it’s not the Pork Rolls: Flatulent Employee (and his Wife) Bring Claims for...

Is passing gas now protected by our anti-discrimination laws? Over the past several years, we have written extensively about the possibility of obesity discrimination lawsuits becoming the next wave of disability...more

The ADA Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary – A Look Back at the Development of the Act

Twenty-five years ago this week, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) was enacted into law with its stated purpose being “to provide clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards addressing discrimination...more

Obesity, Mere Physical Characteristic or Disability Protected Under Law?

It is no secret that the U.S. has a weight problem. We all hear the news about how American waistlines continue to expand, the various theories behind what is causing the trend and endless advice to reverse it. The American...more

Morbid Obesity is Not a Disability in Kentucky – For Now

There’s no question that obesity is a national health crisis, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that more than a third of adults in the U.S. are obese. In 2013, the American Medical Association...more

Power to the Patients: FDA Employing New Methods for Medical Device Approvals

At the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, the new year started off with an approval of the first therapeutic weight loss option for obese patients since 2007....more

Mayo Clinic and Gentag, Inc. To Develop Wireless Sensors for Treatment of Obesity and Diabetes

Mayo Clinic and Gentag, Inc. have reached a joint intellectual property (IP) agreement to develop wearable biosensors designed to fight obesity and diabetes.  According to the press release, the agreement will allow certain...more

Obesity can be a disability, ECJ confirms

Ben Gorner, a Partner in our Birmingham office, comments: As we reported in Be Aware on 1 July and 18 July, the ECJ was recently asked in the case of Kaltoft v Kommunernes Landsforening to consider whether obesity should be...more

Is Obesity an Environmental Problem?

Like Canada, environmental contamination gets blamed for a lot of things wrong in America. But a recent study in a respected NIH journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, offers a novel expansion of what in our lives that...more

Ugh! – Does this ADA Claim Make Me Look Fat?

We are all familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA prohibits discrimination based upon actual or perceived medical disabilities, and the ADA requires employers to accommodate employees with disabilities...more

Is Obesity a Disability?

The Advocate General (the top legal counsel of the European Court of Justice (ECJ)) has given his opinion on whether obesity is a disability for the purposes of EU discrimination law in the case of Karltoft v Municipality of...more

Food and Beverage Alert (US)

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. - Senators express concern about FDA’s use of draft guidance documents to...more

Another Judge Finds that Obesity May be a “Disability” Under the ADA

Yet another federal court judge, the Honorable Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr. of the Eastern District of Missouri, recently ruled, in Whittaker v. America’s Car-Mart, Inc., that an employee’s severe obesity could constitute a...more

Employers, Check Your Weight-Bias: Obesity, Disability, And The Broadened Coverage Of The ADAAA

A study released by the Center for Disease Control in August 2012 estimates that 32 percent of adults in Alabama are obese. Alabama regularly appears in the Top Five of the list of “heaviest states,” currently weighing in at...more

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