Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Young Mom Dies After a Chiropractic Adjustment: Is "chiropractic stroke" to blame?

Young Mom Dies After a Chiropractic Adjustment
Is "chiropractic stroke" to blame?
Updated: Tuesday, 24 Nov 2009, 9:10 AM EST
Published : Monday, 23 Nov 2009, 9:25 PM EST

MYFOXNY.COM - A Connecticut mother of three suddenly dies after a spinal manipulation, and now her husband wants the public to be aware of her story. Michael McCormick sometimes fights back tears when he remembers his wife Kim McCormick. Kim was only 32 years old and the mother of three young children when she passed away. "She was phenomenal, she was caring, sweet, funny. She was the glue. She kept everyone together," says McCormick who spoke exclusively to Fox 5 News reporter, Dr. Sapna Parikh. He says his wife Kim wanted nothing more than to be a stay at home mom for their 3 children. But all that ended one day in July of 2006 when Michael says, his otherwise healthy wife just wasn't feeling well, "Kim had been experiencing some headaches. So she consulted with a chiropractor."

According to McCormick , the chiropractor performed a cervical spine manipulation to treat her pain. Soon after, McCormick says his wife lost consciousness, "She was considered clinically brain dead," he adds, "there was no function and she was on life support, and that was keeping her alive." Only 12 hours later Kim was gone.

Kim's official death certificate obtained by Fox 5 News, reveals she died of a "vertebral artery dissection following cervical spine manipulation." That means after a manipulation, somehow the artery at the base of Kim's neck was torn, creating a blood clot that cut off blood flow to her brain and caused a stroke.

McCormick says, had his wife known there was any risk to this type of procedure she might still be alive today, "It's something that, had we had known these were potential consequences, probably wouldn't have done. It wasn't something she needed to have done."

Cervical spine manipulation is a twisting of the neck that is performed by chiropractors to relieve pain, muscle tension and tightness along the spine. It's considered a routine treatment.

Dr. Keith Siller, a neurologist and Medical Director of the NYU Comprehensive Stroke Care Center in Manhattan explains the vertebral artery is the main blood supply to the back of the brain. In his opinion the risk of a so-called "chiropractic stroke" exists, but it's extremely small.

"There are millions of people who get adjustments by chiropractors all the time and if this were such a high risk maneuver, I think we'd be seeing a huge number of patients coming in with this and we don't." says Dr. Siller.

No reliable data exists to determine what the risk truly is, but the presidents of two "chiropractic stroke"-awareness advocacy groups, The Chiropractic Stroke Awareness Group and Victims of Irresponsible and Chiropractic Education and Standards (VOICES), claim that hundreds of cases have been reported to them over the last 3 to 5 years.

New York City based chiropractor, Dr. Michael Minardo is a member of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and says he's been performing spinal manipulations for 23 years and he has never seen this type of injury. Dr. Minardo also points to a Canadian study where researchers found there to be no increased risk of stroke among patients who visited a chiropractor compared to those who visited a primary care doctor.

Dr. Minardo believes these types of strokes should not be blamed on a chiropractic adjustment because, "It's not the chiropractic intervention that causes the stroke, it's the fact that these strokes were happening anyway."

When asked by Fox 5 News reporter Dr. Sapna Parikh, "Is it possible that a spinal manipulation could damage one of these arteries?"

Dr. Minardo responded, "With the forces being 1/9th that is necessary to damage a vertebral artery, it would be virtually impossible, with a competently produced spinal manipulation, to cause that kind of damage."

However neurologist, Dr. Keith Siller, M.D. says, "I don't think I agree with that... I think we're not sure exactly how much force is needed to create this situation."

Dr. William Lauretti, D.C. the Spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association issued the following statement:

"According to the American Chiropractic Association the best scientific evidence to date shows that stroke is not a risk of cervical spine manipulation. Any incident where a stroke follows a manipulation is coincidental."

Despite the ACA's position, Michael McCormick wants people to know what happened to his wife Kim after she received a chiropractic adjustment, he even testified about it before lawmakers in Connecticut back in February. McCormick is currently working to get legislation passed in Connecticut requiring chiropractors to inform patients of the risks and have them sign off on it before they undergo any treatment.

"I'm not advocating against chiropracty, but if people are going to go," says McCormick, "Just to make them aware that, that this is a possibility."

And this issue will be addressed again on January 5 and 6, 2010. The Connecticut State Board of Chiropractic Examiners will hold a hearing to determine if chiropractors should be required to inform patients of the risk of stroke before performing a manipulation.

In the meantime, "chiropractic stroke"-awareness groups hope one day new legislation will force chiropractors to warn patients of risks in advance of a spinal manipulation, and also make it a requirement for patients to receive a discharge summary explaining the signs and symptoms of a stroke that they should watch out for after the spinal manipulation is complete.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kimkins - Notice of Pendency of Class Notice‏

I think my readers will be interested in this.

Kimkins - Notice of Pendency of Class Notice‏





1. On May 20, 2009, the Riverside County Superior Court, located in Riverside, California, issued an order certifying this case to proceed as a class action.

2. The plaintiffs are six individuals who bought memberships to through the Website ( from January 1, 2006 to October 15, 2007. The defendants are Heidi Diaz, an individual, and Kimkins (also known as, a business entity that conducts business in Corona, California.

3. The plaintiffs contend that Diaz and induced them into buying memberships for through false and misleading information provided on the Web site. The plaintiffs contend that the defendants violated California Business & Professions Code § 17200, et seq., which authorizes courts to provide relief from unfair, unlawful, and fraudulent business practices. The plaintiffs also contend that Diaz and violated common law prohibitions against fraud and negligent misrepresentation.

4. This notice provides you with information regarding the litigation, including the plaintiffs’ claims against the defendants and the current status of the litigation. This notice also provides you with information regarding the court’s class-certification order.


The Plaintiffs’ Claims

5. This lawsuit is based on the plaintiffs’ claims that Diaz and Kimkins used unfair, unlawful, or fraudulent business practices to induce them into buying memberships to This lawsuit is also based on the plaintiffs’ claims that the false and misleading information contained on the Web site constituted fraud or negligent misrepresentation by Diaz and Kimkins.

6. Here’s a list of the kinds of misconduct that the plaintiffs have alleged:

• that Diaz and Kimkins concocted a false persona, “Kim Drake” or “Kimmer” to sell memberships to
• that Diaz and Kimkins misled potential members into believing that “Kim Drake” was real by using photos of real women and then falsely claiming that the photos depicted “Drake”
• that Diaz and Kimkins posted lied about “Drake’s” purported weight loss
• that Diaz and Kimkins provided false or misleading information to Women’s World magazine
• that Diaz and Kimkins fabricated 41 “success stories” and published on the Web
• that Diaz and Kimkins made up celebrity endorsements
• that Diaz and Kimkins misused labels and metatags to steer Internet traffic to the Website, in violation of the law
• that Diaz and Kimkins misled potential members into believing that they were buying lifetime memberships, when in fact Diaz and terminated memberships at their whim
• that Diaz and Kimkins intended to mislead potential members and assumed that potential members would rely on her misrepresentations.

The Defendants’ Position

7. Diaz and Kimkins have denied all allegations of wrongdoing and liability, and they continue to deny that they have done anything wrong. Diaz and Kimkins also have asserted various affirmative defenses to the plaintiffs’ claims.


8. In an order filed May 20, 2009, the Court granted the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification. The Court certified for class treatment the plaintiffs’ claims for equitable relief, including disgorgement of the subscription fees paid to Diaz and Kimkins by the plaintiffs and the members of the class.

9. The certified class is defined as all individuals who purchased the diet membership on-line from the Web site from January 1, 2006 through October 15, 2007.


10. The Court ordered that this notice be provided to advise class members that this case is pending and that the Court has certified the case to proceed as a class action. You should not consider this notice or its mailing to be a statement by the Court that the plaintiffs are right or that their claims will prevail.


11. You do not need to do anything to remain a member of the class. If you bought a diet membership on-line from the Web site from January 1, 2006 through October 15, 2007—including either of those dates—you are automatically included in the class. Your rights will be represented by the plaintiffs and their attorneys. You will not be personally responsible for any attorney fees or for the any of the costs of this litigation.


12. You have the opportunity to opt out of the class action lawsuit as detailed herein. If you incurred a personal injury as a result of using the aka Kimkins Diet, you have a right to opt out. Notices to opt must be sent to or mailed to Tiedt & Hurd at 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 209, Corona, California 92879.


13. This notice provides only a brief summary of this litigation. For further details, you should take one or both of the following steps:

• Review the documents in the Court’s file for this lawsuit. Many of these documents may be viewed or obtained on-line at the following URL: . You also may review the Court’s file in person by going to the Office of the Clerk of the Court for the Riverside Superior Court, during regular business hours. The Clerk’s office is located at 4050 Main Street, Riverside, California 92501.

• Write a letter to the attorneys who are representing the plaintiffs and whom the Court has appointed to represent the class. Here are their names and their contact information:

John E. Tiedt & Marc S. Hurd
Tiedt & Hurd
980 Montecito Drive, Suite 209
Corona, California 92879

Michael L. Cohen
Michael L. Cohen, a PLC
707 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 4100
Los Angeles, California 90017

Ray Moore
Moore Winter McLennan LLP
701 N. Brand Blvd., Suite 200
Glendale, California 92103-4232

If you decide to contact one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, please do so in writing. To make it easier for them or one of their staff members to respond, however, your letter should include both your e-mail address and your telephone number.

There are estimated to be as many as 40,000 members in the class. So please, DO NOT CALL THE COURT OR ATTEMPT TO CONTACT THE COURT BY E-MAIL.

DATE: ___________________________, 2009

Hon. _________________________,
Presiding Judge

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