June 17, 2008 — The family of a Canadian woman who suffered a stroke following a chiropractic adjustment is filing a $529 million class-action lawsuit against Alberta chiropractor Gregory John Stiles, DC, the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors (the regulatory agency for chiropractic in the province), and the Ministry of Health.
The lawsuit, Sandra Nette v. Gregory John Stiles et al, was filed on June 12 in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench.
Canadian television and newspaper stories are encouraging individuals to visit a Web site and join the class-action lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that some Alberta chiropractors sell inappropriate and non-beneficial spinal adjustments to benefit themselves economically at the risk and at the expense of their patients’ health and welfare. The lawsuit also alleges that their regulators are responsible for failing to properly challenge this exploitation and to regulate the use of spinal manipulation, especially in the area of the upper neck, in breach of their duties to ensure safe health services are offered to the public.
The plaintiffs are Sandra Nette and her husband David Nette. The lawsuit alleges that Sandra suffered a stroke after Stiles adjusted her neck. She remains tetraplegic.
The lawsuit says, “Chiropractic spinal adjustment is a physical intervention that is marketed as useful for the treatment of specific medical conditions or disease symptoms. Medical doctors and other scientists tell us, however, that it is practiced in the absence of both scientific evidence proving its effectiveness and a plausible biological explanation for why it should be effective; further, they tell us its practice continues unabated even after there has been scientific evidence that it is ineffective and its biological basis has been discredited.
“The medical literature undeniably evidences that chiropractic spinal manipulation is associated with an exhorbitantly high incidence of mild to moderate adverse effects. Chiropractic spinal manipulation of the neck has been frequently associated with serious vascular accidents, including stroke, paralysis and death.”
The plaintiffs’ lead lawyers are Daryl Wilson, QCand Philip Tinkler, Esq., of the law firm of Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP.
Source: Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, www.albertachiroclassaction.ca