Neck adjustment sparks $529M suit
Paralyzed woman leads class action against chiropractors
A woman has launched a $529-million classaction lawsuit against Alberta chiropractors after a neck adjustment allegedly left her paralyzed.
Sandra Gay Nette of Edmonton has been paralysed since September 2007.
The lawsuit claims that a chiropractic session damaged both her vertebral arteries, which disrupted blood flow to her brain.
On her way home from the chiropractor, Ms. Nette had to pull her car to the side of the road and call her husband for help, the statement of claim alleges.
She suffered permanent neurological damage. Ms. Nette is mentally aware, but cannot swallow, speak or breathe on her own. She has limited movement in her right arm, but nowhere else in her body.
On Thursday, Ms. Nette and her husband, David, launched the lawsuit against her Edmonton chiropractor, Gregory John Stiles, the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors and Alberta Health and Wellness. As part of the class action, the suit is claiming damages of $500 million against chiropractors in the province for “inappropriate and non-beneficial adjustments” since June 1998.
The suit focuses on a procedure that manipulates the upper vertebrae in the neck.
“The procedure is an ineffective and dangerous one, which chiropractors employ routinely,” the suit states.
“Ideological practitioners of chiropractic masquerading in the white smock of science perpetuate its unregulated indiscriminate use.”
The suit also alleges the chiropractic association knew the risks of certain procedures and minimized them out of self-interest. It also states that Ms. Nette was not told of the risks before the procedure on her neck.
Allegations in the statement of claim has not been proven in court. No statement of defence has yet been filed.