More US legal action on Mexican weight loss treatment

Following the original class action lawsuit in Arizona this May concerning weight loss treatment in Mexico, related lawsuits have been filed at Maricopa County Superior Court in Arizona, US.

Jessica Ballandby from Arizona went to Mexico for weight loss treatment and she is lead plaintiff in both lawsuits targeting doctors, referral agents and aftercare businesses that encourage patients to cross the border for weight loss surgery.

The first lawsuit names as defendants the Show Low (Arizona) Unified School District, former Show Low school district officials, Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Centre and Tijuana surgeon Mario Almanza.

Ballandby alleges that Sandra Brimhall, a principal at Show Low elementary school used high-pressure sales techniques that persuaded her to get a weight-loss operation in Tijuana, Mexico.

Surgery performed by Almanza in 2014 led to several medical complications, including severe bleeding, sepsis and continuing health problems, the lawsuit states. After going home to Arizona, Ballandby spent weeks at Summit Healthcare in Show Low and weeks at a Scottsdale hospital.

The second lawsuit by Ballandby and three other patients claim several doctors, businesses and consultants involved in medical tourism and postsurgical care misrepresented the nature, quality and safety of bariatric procedures.

Justin Blackburn, one of the plaintiffs in the second lawsuit, claims complications after getting gastric-band fills. The lawsuit states Blackburn’s stepmother, Elizabeth Erickson, died following complications from her surgery and aftercare in 2013.