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Herman Praszkier
Attorney At Law

Patient Sues For Chiropractic Malpractice
$118,336 Verdict

Published Missouri Lawyers Weekly

A St. Louis woman sued her chiropractor, claiming she needed surgery to repair a ruptured disc caused by his improper treatment.

Leslie Krieger, 32, went to Dr. Leonard Suiter, a chiropractor, complaining of hip pain and numbness in her fingers in Feb. 7, 2001. The first five treatments  seemed successful, but she then began to have pain in her neck. She continued to see Dr. Suiter, but her pain grew worse.

Complaining of her severe pain, she saw Dr. Suiter on March 2. He manipulated her spine again, but Kreiger said this time she felt a "pop". The pain lessened for a few hours, but returned that evening, and continued to increase. By March 5, Kreiger was experiencing partial paralysis, and her husband took her to the emergency room.

After X-rays and an MRI,  Dr. Alexander Marchofsky, a neurosurgeon, diagnosed a  herniated or ruptured disc, which he believed was caused by Dr. Suiter's manipulation on March 2. He said the herniated disc was pressing on her spinal cord, causing the paralysis. She underwent surgery  to remove the disc on March 16.

Dr. Suiter denied any negligence, claiming that Kreiger suffered from a severe  degenerative disc and joint disease. He said that she ruptured  her disc attempting to roll out of bed on March 5.

Kreiger argued that Dr. Suiter should have re-evaluated  her treatment and referred her for a neurological consult when the manipulations caused her pain to increase. She also said his manipulation had caused her disc to rupture, and that Dr. Suiter had not diagnosed any disc degeneration while she was under his care.  Dr. Marchofsky said the X-rays showed no evidence of disc degeneration.

The jury awarded Kreiger $118,336

Type of Action: Medical Malpractice

Type of Injuries: Herniated disc at C5-C6

Court/Case Number/Date: St. Louis County Circuit Court/02-CC-226TCV-01/Feb. 21, 2003

Judge, Jury or ADR: Jury

Name of Judge: John A. Ross

Special Damages: 18,336 medical expense

Verdict or Settlement: $118,336 verdict

Allocation of fault: N/A

Last Offer: None

Last Demand: $100,000

Attorneys for Plaintiff: Herman Praszkier, St. Louis

Insurance Carrier: N.C.M.I.C. Insurance Co.

Plaintiff Experts: Dr. Alan Bragman, Atlanta, Ga. (chiropractor); Dr. Alexander Marchofsky, St. Louis (neurosurgeon)

Defendant's Experts: Dr. Daniel Coogan, St. Charles (chiropractor); Dr. George Dohrman, Chicago, Ill. (neurosurgeon); Dr. Ralph Filson, St. Louis
(chiropractor); Dr. John Triano, Plano, Texas (biomechanics)

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