Friday, February 16, 2007

Notre Dame Head Coach Sues for Botched Bypass

Charlie Weis, head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and former Super Bowl winning offensive coordinator, testified yesterday in his lawsuit against two surgeons from prestigious Massachusetts General, who he claims were negligent following his gastric bypass surgery.

According to, the now svelte Weis said he spent more than a month in various hospitals, and following his release, had problems walking and could get around only with the help of a wheelchair or electric cart. His lawyer, Michael Mone, told the jury during opening statements Tuesday that Weis still suffers nerve damage in his legs.

How was his ambulation when he tipped the scales at 400 lbs? And his diabetes? And HTN? And obstructive sleep apnea, etc etc?

I am astonished that someone who signed a contract for $30-40 million over 10 years and is now healthy enough toWeis2.jpg walk the sidelines and handle a high-stress job like his, would sue doctors who are at the top of their field and clearly did not mean any harm.

Gastric bypass is inherently a complicated procedure and when a morbidly obese individually undergoes the surgery, this is explained to him or her. If the physicians made a erred during the surgery and corrected their error enabling him to successfully drop weight and return to coaching, what is he suing for?

Obviously, we are not privy to the details of the case but we do know he is coaching and that hey are Harvard surgeons who want the bet for their patients - especially high-profile ones like Weis.

Can the Fighting Irish fans sue Weis every time he makes a bad call or for their pitiful performance in Bowl games?

Doctors explained to Weis the risk of the surgery and he, in fact, waived a psychological assessment period so that he could be ready in time for football season. Now he is suing them?

Weis, as a head football coach, and a man who is familiar with risk-benefit analysis, whould recognize the complications inherent in such an invasive procedure - particularly in such an unhealthy individual. Big rewards can be gained form big risks - but like the deep pass and the double reverse, catastrophe can also occur. Weis is lucky that he is alive, healthier than before, and actively coaching a marquee program. And who does he have to thank for that? His team? His family?

No. His doctors.

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