Canadian court authorizes class-action suit against chiropractors

There are chiropractors here in Port Townsend and elsewhere on the Peninsula advertising spinal decompression. I have no idea if they are using the Axiom DRX 9000. It does not appear in a search of any of the Olympic Peninsula chiropractors.

The Quebec Superior Court has authorized a class-action suit to proceed against 13 chiropractors and their insurers. The plaintiffs were treated for back pain at Zero Gravity clinics with a spinal decompression machine called the Axiom DRX 9000. The company went bankrupt in 2013, but the suit is directed against the individual chiropractors: Yves Bélanger, Marc Bureau, Amelie Jean, Bertrand Canuel, Patrick Fortier, Mario Amyot, Yoland Guimond, Catherine Morin-Noiseux, Valérie Bouthillier, Giovanni Ippolito, Caroline Huot, Jean Theroux, and Marie-Noelle Side. All of the case documents are in French. The complaint (in French) and Google’s English translation of the judge’s ruling are available online. The complaint states:

  • In 2010, Health Canada banned sale of the device, saying that the manufacturer had failed to provide scientific evidence that the device is effective.
  • The College of Quebec advised chiropractors to stop advertising and using the device and subsequently disciplined 9 of the 13 chiropractors.

The law firm handling the case is Ménard, Martin of Montreal. Press reports indicate that 650 people have signed up, but up to 8,000 people might be eligible. [650 people get permission to sue chiropractors. CTV News Montreal, Nov 23, 2016]

Spinal decompression is an expensive high-tech form of mechanical traction that can relieve some cases of back pain but has been widely promoted with unsubstantiated claims that it can correct degenerated and herniated discs without surgery. [Barrett S. Be wary of spinal decompression therapy with VAX-D or similar devices. Chirobase, Nov 25, 2016]

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