The Law Firm of Leisawitz Heller

Chiropractor sued for wrongful death in malpractice case

Residents of Reading and Berks County frequently visit chiropractors for treatment of back pain and joint injury. Chiropractic patients rarely view their treatment as potentially dangerous, but even chiropractors can commit malpractice with catastrophic consequences. A medical malpractice case recently filed in Los Angeles demonstrates how chiropractic treatment of the cervical spine, if not done properly, can lead to serious injury and even death.

The estate of Katie May, a former Playboy model, has brought a wrongful death and malpractice action against the chiropractor who treated her for neck pain in February 2016. The complaint alleges that May sought chiropractic treatment for neck pain. In manipulating May's cervical spine, the chiropractor allegedly performed a maneuver that tore May's left vertebral artery. The torn artery could no longer supply blood to the brain, and the model suffered a fatal stroke.

The plaintiff's case is predicated in part on the report of the Los Angeles County Coroner finding that May died as the result of an injury sustained during "neck manipulation by chiropractor." The plaintiff is also pointing to the fact that the chiropractor did not write his report dealing with his treatment of May until four days after administering the treatment and one day after she died. May's only survivor is her daughter Mia. Mia's father is the administrator of May's estate, and he said that the only goal of the lawsuit is to establish a fund to pay for Mia's college education.

Chiropractic malpractice is rare, and when it occurs it rarely results in death. Nevertheless, chiropractors make errors that injure their patients. Anyone who has suffered an injury from maltreatment by a chiropractor may wish to consult one of the medical malpractice attorneys at Leisawitz Heller Law Firm in Reading for an analysis of the facts and law that will govern the case and for an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.

Source: People Magazine, "Estate of Playboy Model Katie May Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Chiropractor," Julie Mazziotta, June 14, 2017

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