VOCA Victims of Chiropractic Abuse
Paralyzed Alberta woman sues College of Chiropractors, province, for $500 million
Jun. 13, 2008 The Canadian Press, John Cotter
Provided by: The Canadian Press
Written by: John Cotter, THE CANADIAN PRESS

EDMONTON - A woman who says she became paralyzed after having her upper spine manipulated is suing the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors and the provincial government for half a billion dollars.

The class-action lawsuit filed by Sandra Nette involves an alleged incident at an Edmonton chiropractor's office last Sept. 17.

"A perfectly healthy young woman's life has been irreparably and devastatingly damaged as a result of her exposure to a chiropractor's manipulation of the vertebrae in her upper neck to correct alleged subluxations," says the statement of claim.

"The procedure is an ineffective and dangerous one which chiropractors employ routinely. Ideological practitioners of chiropractic masquerading in the white smock of science perpetuate its unregulated, indiscriminate use with the condonation and protection of their supposed regulator against all reason. It has got to be stopped."

In the statement, Nette says the association and the government should have been aware that such spine manipulations are "without scientific justification and pose a threat to people."

The statement also contends the government was aware that chiropractic in Alberta was a confused and poorly regulated set of practices and a major consumer health problem.

Nette was unavailable for comment but outlined her concerns in a video shot last week by her husband from her bed at an Edmonton rehabilitation hospital using a speech synthesizing touchpad.

"(I want) chiropractors to stop neck manipulation," she said in the video posted on YouTube by rabbletv.ca. "Look what you did to me."

The statement of claim contains allegations that have not been proved in court and no statement of defence has been filed.

Officials with the Alberta College of Chiropractors and Alberta Health said they were aware of the lawsuit but have declined comment.

Nette and her husband, David, said if the lawsuit is successful, other Albertans who suffered injuries after undergoing manipulation of the upper cervical spine since June 12, 1998, would share in any financial settlement.

In her statement of claim, Nette says she went for a treatment session at the chiropractor's, during which he manipulated her neck.

After the session she says she felt dizzy as she was driving home and pulled over, calling her husband for help. As he was carrying her into the hospital emergency bay, she collapsed and went into convulsions, suffering permanent neurological damages.

Nette says she suffers from "Locked-In Syndrome," an incurable condition that her statement of claim says is akin to being "the closest thing to being buried alive."

She says she cannot move or speak and uses mechanical devices to help her swallow and breathe.

Lawyers from Fraser Milner Casgrain, the firm hired by Nette to handle the lawsuit, declined comment on Friday.

Latest News
September 9, 2010
Judge Rules in Chiropractic Rules Case
July 29, 2010
A Stroke That Hits Young Women
March 2, 2009
Crack! Kids Head to Chiropractor
August 25, 2008
The Claim: Manipulating Your Neck Could Lead to a Stroke
July 1, 2008
Chiropractor Suspended for Ads
June 25, 2008
CNN Stroke after Chiropractic Care
June 21, 2008
Chiropractors called to court
June 15, 2008
Class Action Lawsuit Against Chiropractic in Canada
June 13, 2008
Paralyzed Alberta woman sues College of Chiropractors, province, for $500 million
January 22, 2008
Chiropractic Concerns on Fox News
September 23, 2007
Alternative therapy for backache 'can kill or disable'
May 2007
Chiropractors are causing strokes in young, healthy women. Read this before your next appointment.
April 13, 2007
Chiropractors need more training: Montreal coroner
April 12, 2007
Chiropractic adjustment contributed to woman's death, Quebec coroner concludes
November 26, 2003
Neurologists Warn Patients About Neck Rotation
June 4, 2002
Adjusting the Joints