Civil trial in chiropractic case to begin Monday

Published: 2011-03-18 19:29:56
Author: Dianne Wood | The Record | March 18, 2011

KITCHENER — Joe Labonte believes a chiropractic procedure is responsible for his wife’s untimely death nine years ago.

A civil case against the chiropractor begins Monday before a judge in Superior Court in Kitchener.

Labonte says his wife, Dora, told him on the phone after a treatment in June 2002 that her chiropractor “had done something (that) really scared her.’’

Her neck was sore and she complained of a severe, unrelenting headache, he said in an interview.

The Guelph woman was rushed to hospital five days later with dizziness and blurred vision. She was holding the back of her neck. Just before she fell into a coma, she became nauseous, her husband said.

The 40-year-old mother of three died in a Toronto hospital, almost three weeks after the treatment. Two small arteries running up the back of her neck to her brain, called vertebral arteries, had been injured, said Joe Labonte’s lawyer, Amani Oakley.

Labonte, 49, will talk at the civil trial about the days leading up to her death. He’s suing St. Catharines chiropractor Tracy Drynan in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.

None of his allegations have been proven in court.

The case is one of a number of recent ones alleging a link between chiropractic neck manipulation and strokes.

Drynan’s lawyer, Brian Foster, is ready to defend the chiropractor. He said Drynan did not adjust Dora Labonte’s neck when she treated her on June 17, 2002.

“She did soft tissue therapy, which is massage,’’ he said. “If what she did could ever possibly cause the kinds of injuries sustained, then I wouldn’t want to be a medical practitioner touching the neck of anybody.’’

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