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Class action litigation forthcoming against 13 chiropractors

Those who suffer from chronic conditions may be quick to place their trust in health care practitioners as they seek relief in any way that seems reasonable. However, when the promises of relief turn out to be empty and founded on bad science, they may find themselves out of money and still suffering. Just east of Ontario, class action litigation is now pending against a group of chiropractors who failed to deliver on their claims to relieve back pain.

To date, 650 people have joined in a suit against a private chiropractic clinic in Quebec. The chiropractors there had been promoting a spinal decompression machine that was supposed to stretch out patients' backs and provide relief from pain. Instead, most patients showed either no improvement or increased suffering from their condition. The treatments cost patients in the thousands of dollars.

In 2010, Health Canada revoked the licence of the machine's manufacturer, citing a lack of scientific proof of any benefits derived from its use. Quebec chiropractors were ordered not to use it by their governing body, and those who continued to use it were disciplined. The complainants in the case allege the chiropractors were more concerned with their own profits than with their patients' health. They are seeking reimbursement, plus $10,000 each to remedy any damage caused by the treatment, and an additional $5,000 each in punitive damages. Should every affected patient join in the suit, the money sought could exceed $120,000,000.

A suit such as this is an ideal response to a situation in which a large group of people believes they have been wronged by a corporate entity. Where a single complaint may be easily dismissed, a group effort may be difficult to put down. Men and women of Ontario who believe they have grounds to proceed with class action litigation may want to discuss their situation with a lawyer from a firm that routinely handles this sort of case.

Source: CTV Montreal, "Class-action case to proceed against 13 Quebec chiropractors", Nov. 23, 2016

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