Chiropractor visit leads to wrongful death claim

Back pain, shoulder pain, a pinched nerve – these are all reasons why a California resident may decide to visit a chiropractor. Typically, the chiropractor will perform x-rays on a new patient and then recommend treatment. Treatment usually consists of manual adjustments to the patient’s body in order to relieve the pain and provide proper alignment. A patient goes to the chiropractor seeking relief rather than the possibility of becoming a victim of wrongful death.

However, in February 2016, one family claims that a chiropractor visit is what led to the death of model Katie May. Apparently, the 34-year-old mother suffered injury due to a fall at a photo shoot. In an effort to find relief, she visited her chiropractor for what she believed was a pinched nerve.

According to the claim filed by her estate, the chiropractor performed a neck adjustment that was considered aggressive in nature. She suffered a stroke and later died. The coroner later filed his report indicating that her cause of death was an injury to one of her arteries, which restricted blood flow to her brain. His report indicates that this injury was the result of the neck adjustment and ultimately responsible for her stroke.

Wrongful death can occur when death is the result of another’s negligence. When one is in pain, he or she will often visit a doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor seeking relief. In doing so, the individual is expecting to be properly treated and for the pain to diminish. However, if such a visit leads to death, it is possible that there a viable claim for wrongful death can be made through California’s legal system.

Source:, “Model Katie May’s Family Is Suing a Chiropractor for Wrongful Death“, Lindsey Lanquist, June 16, 2017

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