GP wins appeal against $364K payout to obese man

The NSW Court of Appeal upheld an appeal by Sydney GP Dr Emmanuel Varipatis after it accepted that the doctor did discuss weight loss options with the patient and was not obliged to take further action since the patient “did not reveal a willingness” to lose weight.

As first reported by MO, Dr Varipatis, a nutritional medicine specialist, was sued by Luis Almario, who was 154cm tall and weighed up to 140kg while under Dr Varipatis’ care from 1997 to 2011. Mr Almario has terminal liver cancer as a result of liver disease brought on by his obesity.

The Supreme Court had accepted Mr Almario’s claim that, in failing to refer the man for weight loss treatment, Dr Varipatis was “legally responsible for the consequences of his pre-existing liver disease progressing to cirrhosis, liver failure and eventually liver cancer”.

But today a Court of Appeal tribunal said it accepted expert evidence who said that while a GP &ldquo