The estate of Katie May, a former Playboy model who died in February 2016 from a stroke after a chiropractic adjustment, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the chiropractor. According to a news report in People.com, the estate, held by the father of May’s 8-year-old daughter, is seeking money for pay for the child’s college tuition. The lawsuit was filed against the Los Angeles-based chiropractor alleging medical malpractice and negligence.
The lawsuit alleges that the chiropractor mistreated May by adjusting her neck and should have recognized that she needed hospitalization. The Los Angeles County Coroner determined that May died as a result of injury sustained during a “neck manipulation by a chiropractor” and that the chiropractor shifted the model’s neck in a way that ruptured her left vertebral artery, blocking blood flow to the brain. That in turn caused the stroke.
The lawsuit also accuses the chiropractor of not writing his patient report for his patient until four days after treating her and a day after her death. May’s attorney said he had hoped for a settlement out of court, but weren’t able to arrive at a compromise with the chiropractor and his insurance company. The lawsuit, despite the facts and circumstances of the case, was not aiming to seek anything “unreasonable,” just monetary support for May’s daughter’s college tuition, the plaintiff’s attorney said.
A recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins showed that medical errors in hospitals and other healthcare facilities are extremely common and are now the third leading cause of death in the United States claiming 251,000 lives every year – more than respiratory disease, accidents, stroke and Alzheimer’s. That’s about 700 deaths a day and roughly 9.5 percent of all deaths annually in the United States. All of these deaths were caused by the careless, reckless or negligent acts of doctors, nurses, hospital staff, anesthesiologists, technicians and other professionals in the medical field. And these are deaths that could have been entirely prevented, had someone been paying attention.
Generally speaking, a wrongful death occurs when one person is responsible for the death of another and caused it deliberately or through his or her recklessness. Under California law, wrongful death is a fatality caused by the neglect or wrongful act of another. In the context of medical malpractice, a wrongful death could be caused by, for example, a physician’s failure to diagnose a medical condition that could have been treated such as heart disease or cancer. It can also occur as the result of any act of professional negligence that falls below acceptable standards of care. Incompetence on the part of a doctor or physician is an example or care that falls below acceptable standards.
There are four key elements that must be proven in a wrongful death case. The plaintiffs must prove that the death of their loved one was caused by negligence on the part of the medical professionals involved. Plaintiffs must also prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased victim and that he or she breached that duty. The plaintiff must also show how the defendant’s negligence caused their loved one’s death and show evidence that he or she suffered quantifiable damages as a result of the death. Some of the damages that can be sought in wrongful death cases include medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship.
The experienced medical malpractice wrongful death attorneys at Timothy J. Ryan & Associates have the experience necessary to ensure you receive justice for your loved one. We treat each client care and sensitivity. Call us at (800) 838-6644 for a free consultation and case evaluation.