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Biggest Loser Star Threatens Lawsuit after Regaining Weight
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Suzanne Mendoca is not happy she regained the weight she lost after Biggest Loser. Photo courtesy of Talk Entertainment.

Summary: A former Biggest Loser contestant wants to sue the show for her weight gain, but does she have a case?

The planned Biggest Loser class action lawsuit may be a loser, legal experts said. A former contestant who gained the weight back after the show ended has threatened legal action against the hit NBC reality program, saying it wrecked her metabolism. But legal experts spoke to The Hollywood Reporter and said if the case were to go forward, The Biggest Loser would more likely win.

  
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Suzanne Mendoca was a contestant on Season Two, and she lost 150 pounds while on the weight loss show. After the season, she gained the weight back, and she told TMZ that the program got her to lose weight in an unhealthy manner—only allowing 800 calories a day and dehydrating her.

Mendoca said that what happened to her on the show wrecked her metabolism for life, and she pointed to a recent study that surveyed former Biggest Loser contestants. The National Institutes of Health assessed former stars at the end of the competition and again six years later. They found that the contestants had lower resting metabolic rates, which make it difficult to burn calories. Mendoca said the study proves Biggest Loser is responsible for her weight return.

However, the study also said most contestants kept off at least 10 percent of their weight loss, which is better than most programs. Despite this, Mendoca wants to sue Biggest Loser for her troubles, but various entertainment lawyers said she doesn’t have a case. Before contestants can appear on TV, they sign release forms, waiving the network’s liability.

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“When you sign up to be on a reality show, you sign waivers up the wazoo,” entertainment lawyer Barry Haldeman said. “Those releases are so one-sided, but they’re the price of admission. I’m sure they have a very, very well written release that says not only can we use your name and likeness but you waive any claims if you’re injured on this show or have any negative medical effects.”

Other attorneys pointed out that the statute of limitations has more than likely passed and that there are too many lifestyle and preexisting conditions to factor in for a class action suit.



“There are just too many variables, everything from stress to what they’re eating to how hard they’re working out,” attorney Glen Rothstein said. “That’s the antithesis of a class action where you’re treating everybody as one big plaintiff.”

Do you think Biggest Loser is responsible for former contestants’ weight gain? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter



 

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