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July 26, 2012 / Christian Przybylowski

Former Employees Sue 1-800-GET-THIN Centers

Two former employees have filed a law suit against the 1-800-GET-THIN ad campaign. The suit also names Michael and John Omidi, brothers who own and operate the business, and surgery centers affiliated with the advertising campaign. Jessica Meyle, a dietician, and Amy Demonbreun, a surgical assistant, allege that surgical equipment used during Lap-Band weight loss surgeries was improperly sterilized and that several patients may have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus.

Meyle and Demonbreun were employed at the San Diego Ambulatory Surgery Center, a clinic affiliated with the campaign. They said that a machine used to sterilize surgical equipment constantly malfunctioned, putting patients at risk for infection and cross contamination.

The lawsuit also claims that surgical equipment used on a patient with hepatitis C was later used on other patients in the San Diego clinic as well as at an affiliated clinic in Beverly Hills. Hepatitis C is a virus that affects the liver, potentially leading to significant liver damage and death. Meyle and Demonbreun say that the surgery centers failed to inform public health officials of the potential exposure and that exposed patients should have been warned and should be tested.

This is the latest in a string of lawsuits filed against the ad campaign by former employees and patients. Other suits allege improper billing methods and poor medical treatment at affiliated surgery centers. At least five people have died following surgeries conducted in affiliated centers.

Additionally the Food and Drug Administration has accused the ad campaign and affiliated clinics of misleading advertising. The Administration says that patients are not being adequately warned about the potential risks involved in having the Lap-Band surgery. The maker of the Lap-Band device, Allegran Inc., has stopped selling the device to businesses affiliated with the ad campaign.

If you or a loved one has had the Lap-Band surgery and feel you may have been exposed to sub-standard medical treatment, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential evaluation of your rights.

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