In a trial taking place in Peoria County, Johnson & Bell Shareholder, Stephen P. Ellenbecker, secured a defense verdict for his client, a chiropractor practicing in the Peoria, Illinois area. In closing, the plaintiff asked the jury for $852,000 in damages for his client, who claimed the chiropractor committed malpractice and failed to meet the standard of care in his treatment of the plaintiff.
In this case, the plaintiff had been the chiropractor’s patient for more than three years. The plaintiff requested an emergency adjustment of her cervical spine because of extreme pain. The plaintiff claimed that after the adjustment, her pain increased dramatically. She went to the chiropractor again to receive another adjustment, which she claimed worsened her pain. After a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure, the patient underwent anterior cervical discectomy fusion surgery. She claims she still has neck pain and loss of range of motion. Plaintiff sued the chiropractor for malpractice and for breaching the standard of care. At trial, the plaintiff’s medical expert argued that the chiropractor committed malpractice and that, rather than adjusting her spine, the chiropractor should have referred plaintiff to a medical doctor for treatment. The defense argued that the plaintiff suffered from degenerative cervical disk disease and had periodic bouts of pain. Given the plaintiff’s medical history, defense argued that the chiropractor’s treatment met the standard of care for the medical issues the plaintiff presented. In fact, during a cross examination of the plaintiff’s standard of care expert, Mr. Ellenbecker got the expert to admit that his opinion of the chiropractor’s care and treatment of the plaintiff was no better than a “Monday Morning Quarterback” assessment.
The six-person jury deliberated for 90 minutes before returning a verdict for the defense.