Hartford CO Med Mal: Chiropractors accused of failing to warn patients of risks

06/14/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Hartford, CO—Two Connecticut-based chiropractic trade groups face legal action with regard to alleged violations of patients’ rights. A patient advocacy group filed a lawsuit in Hartford Superior Court, which was expected to be served Thursday, June 10, 2010, according to information provided by CTnow.com.

Victims of Chiropractic Abuse Inc. (VOCA) accused the two trade groups of failing to inform patients of the potential health risks associated with chiropractic care, specifically those related to neck manipulations. The trade groups included the Connecticut Chiropractic Council and the Connecticut Chiropractic Association.

Approximately three months ago, the Connecticut Board of Chiropractic Examiners declined to establish a rule, which would force chiropractors to warn their patients of risks linked to neck manipulations. That ruling was confirmed again on Thursday, the same day the complaint was filed.

While VOCA claims many chiropractors failed to warn patients of the threat of stroke from neck manipulations, the groups maintain that risks are low and have yet to be proven. Though the groups were ostensibly accused of medical malpractice, current laws do not require chiropractors to warn patients of these risks. Therefore, they have not deviated from the standard of care.

“We went to the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, which is sort of like going to the fox to ask what they like about the chicken coop,” stated the attorney representing the patients’ rights group. VOCA also contends the chiropractors’ violated state law and were deceptive in their use of the title “doctor” when marketing their craft.

A statement provided by both trade groups stated, “It is unfortunate that the profession’s detractors are attempting to circumvent the decision through legal means… We recognize that the individuals behind VOCA are deeply disappointed by today’s decision. However, this lawsuit merely continues a campaign to denigrate and defame the chiropractic profession.”

The founder of VOCA, on the other hand, declared, “The time has come to hold chiropractors in this state accountable for their reckless and deceptive actions… The defendants and their members have deceived the public for their own financial gain while denying their rights and potentially putting people in harm’s way.”

Reports noted that if the trade groups argue that they represent chiropractors as a whole, rather than individually, VOCA will sue each chiropractor they believe violated state laws. VOCA allegedly suspected 453 chiropractors of such infringements.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified financial damages, possible punitive damages, as well as a sanction to prohibit future “deceptive tactics”. The case is underway.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Connecticut Medical Malpractice Lawyers.

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