Danson's Den - It's the beginning of the end
Watching the following video clips on the internet may be injurious to the chiropractic profession in Ontario. Please don't allow small children, and young men and women to view these videos without legal advice if they plan to visit their friendly chiropractic office soon.
If you have the time, please watch the unedited videos of Tim Danson, lawyer for the CCA and CMCC, followed by Jim Sweeney, Lana Dale Lewis's husband after the verdict on Friday January 16, 2004
Every one of Danson's ridiculous statements were on the raw video feed. The statements that he read were, according to him, directly from his clients. I would assume that they were the CCA and the CMCC.
He did not take his eyes off the paper, and read it word for word until a few questions from the gallery of reporters put him on the spot.
Serious charges were made by those clients, through Danson. Some of these latest untruths and charges were, in my opinion, libelous and defamatory to the family, the court, and to the people who testified over the 100 days of the inquest. His statements, on behalf of his clients, showed contempt for the judicial system in Canada, for the Lewis family, and for due process.
As the lawyer for CMCC and the CCA he said the following about the jury's decisive verdict that Lana Dale Lewis died because of an accident caused by a high neck manipulation after visiting a chiropractor in 1996:
- "It represents a massive miscarriage of justice"
- "It is perverse"
- "There has been a complete failure of justice in the conduct of this inquest"
- "Our objections have been stated repeatedly, on the record, throughout the inquest, and regrettably as we predicted, our fears have now been realized"
- "The public should note, as should the jury, that two of the most distinguished and respected neuropathologists in the world, Dr. David Graham of Glasgow, Scotland, and Dr. Francesco Scaravilli were prohibited from testifying at this inquest. Notwithstanding that the coroner was aware, that as leading world authorities, their opinions commanded great respect, and would have carried considerable weight. Expert witnesses are not equal. Both Dr. Graham and Dr. Scaravilli could not understand why there was any controversy over what caused Ms. Lewis' death. They would have told the jury, had they been permitted to testify that Ms. Lewis had severely diseased arteries, she had multiple and severe risk factors for stroke, and medically speaking she was a ticking time bomb for stroke, and that her medical condition was so precarious, that the question was not if she was going to have a stroke, but when. Dr Graham and Dr. Scaravilli formed the opinion that this was the clearest case that they have ever seen of a person dying as a result of natural causes. And any other explanation would be grossly speculative and unscientific. We have distributed for you the various reports of Dr. Graham and Dr. Scaravilli, and their curriculum vitaes. You can do your own investigation, and you will see that these are two of the top neuropathologists in the world. It begs the question, why was their evidence denied to be put before the jury?"
- "Entirely apart from the fact that Ms. Lewis had severely diseased arteries, serious high blood pressure, and a family history of cardiovascular disease, and high cholesterol, suffered from debilitating migraine and regular headaches, was a heavy smoker, drinker, and was overweight."
- "This is the first case in medical history where a stroke is associated with chiropractic neck adjustment, when the neck adjustment was to the opposite side from where the stroke originated, and where there was not only no dissection or damage of any kind to the artery at the location of the adjustment, which is at the right vertebral artery in the neck, but also where was no dissection to the left vertebral artery. In the case of Ms. Lewis, the neck adjustment was to the facet joint on the right side of the upper neck. There was no dispute in the evidence that there was no dissection or injury of any kind to the artery at the location of the adjustment. Meaning that at the location of the adjustment, Ms. Lewis' artery was perfectly healthy. A damaged artery at the location of the adjustment is an absolutely minimal pre-condition to even a theoretical association with chiropractic."
- "Because of the series of problems that have contaminated the inquest process, including allowing the jury to hear substantial amounts of inadmissible and prejudicial evidence, that was grossly speculative in nature, the worst kind of junk-science that would never be allowed in a court of law, has been allowed in a coroner's inquest."
- "The serious misconduct, disruptions and delays of the inquest, and the serious misdirections to the jury, the jury was able to reach a conclusion that flies in the face of any accepted medical scientific theory, including theories advanced by opponents of chiropractic."
- "Specifically, the jury has found that while the right-sided adjustment to a facet joint in Ms. Lewis' neck caused no injury to the artery at the location of the adjustment, without evidence, without explanation, the adjustment somehow damaged the artery on the opposite side, the left side of the neck, where there is no dissection identified on pathological examination."
- "That means, that's like saying two plus two equals twelve million. Only a grossly, grossly flawed process could produce such a stunning and perverse result."
- "This verdict and this inquest represents a travesty of justice. The rule of law, the rules of natural justice, the rules of evidence, have become irrelevant, and a mere inconvenience. The very rules of law, and the warnings that the courts have established over the centuries to avoid the very type of injustice and prejudice that has been occasioned here, have been ignored."
- "This miscarriage of justice tarnishes the entire inquest process and the administration of justice. What was at stake at this inquest was the truth. And the truth lost.
- "I emphasize, the first time in medical history that anybody could make an association, even a theoretical association to chiropractic, when there is no injury to the artery, the site of the adjustment is unprecedented. It's perverse, and we're very, very disappointed. And this is not being the Monday morning quarterback. For any of you who have followed this inquest, you know repeatedly we put our objections on the record. And repeatedly we're told that the normal rules of law don't apply to inquests. The very rules that the courts have developed and emphasized over and over and over again, because they know that it will cause prejudice, has happened here. We're disappointed."
Question from the press gallery:
Q - Mr. Danson, you did actually call nine expert witnesses that sort of backed up your case. The jury got to listen to those people.
Danson - "The jury, of course we were able to call witnesses, but there was also significant evidence that was called on the other side that was speculative at its highest, and not backed up by any kind of science. The laws of this land do not permit experts to give their personal opinions and speculative evidence and opinions in court. The courts just don't allow it. This isn't my opinion. This is the Supreme Court of Canada, your appellant courts and trial courts across this land. We don't allow because it can prejudice. But, I still ask you this question. When this case was getting, from our perspective, off the rails with all of its delays and all of the speculative evidence, we said let's find out who are the two top neuropathologists in the world, and put an end to this. At some taxpayers' expense, too. We went over to Europe with the histological slides, that's the slides of the tissue. We met with these two independent people. As I say, you've got the material, you've got their curricula vitaes. The best in the world. And they weighed in this completely objectively and didn't understand what we were doing here in Ontario. That this was the clearest case of someone dying of natural causes. All I say to you, not withstanding we did call witnesses, we had a right and the jury had a right to hear from these two experts. It was denied. If this was a court of law, they would have heard it. So, yes we had lots of evidence, but I still ask the question why were the two top neuropathologists in the world not allowed to give their evidence at this inquest?"
Terry Polevoy's comments:
If the CMCC and the CCA, who spent a reported $5500 per day for his services, what did they get? His clients lost it, and they lost it big time.
If they hired Danson and gave him instructions to make those kinds outside of the courthouse, and if most of them could be proved to be wrong or even contentious, it might condemn the entire chiropractic profession in Ontario to a small glitch on the map of alternative health care. If they really and truly believe half of what was spoken that afternoon, then their professional role, the use of taxpayer's dollars to support them in Ontario must be re-examined immediately.
Never before has any lawyer, or any regulated health profession made such outlandish, and preposterous claims. Never before have so many untruths about the results and recommendations of an inquest been uttered in public.
The poor families in Ontario who continue to see their tax money pay for neck manipulations, while their loved ones remain paralyzed, or just a faded memory, are the ones who have been defamed here.
When is the government of Ontario going to stop this madness, and demand that College of Chiropractors of Ontario do something about this?
In October 2002 a major chiropractic seminar was held in Toronto:
One of the programs was on risk management:
CVA Risk Management Seminar:
Scott Banks, D.C., will be speaking on behalf of NCMIC, presenting a Risk Management seminar, and Dr. Greg Dunn, Chief Operating Officer for the Canadian Chiropractic Protective Association (CCPA) will focus on lessons learned from a coroner's inquest on the death of a patient. NCMIC policy holders who attend this seminar are eligible for a 5% discount on renewal of NCMIC Malpractice premiums.
NCMIC is a leading malpractice insurance provider in the U.S.:
NCMIC makes the following statement:
"three of every 100 chiropractors in the United States will experience a loss resulting from a malpractice claim. That’s why choosing the proper coverage — from the right malpractice insurance company — is the most important decision you will make to protect your practice and your professional reputation."
Comments about risk of stroke risk in Canada
Has the CCPA (Canadian Chiropractic Protective Association) made such claims here in Canada? Do they agree with Tim Danson's statements?
In a letter to the editor as a response to an article about strokes following neck manipulation in the major paper published in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), CMAJ • May 14, 2002; 166 (10) Paul Carey and Scott Haldeman made the following statements:
"We found that chiropractors were made aware of 23 cases of dissection following manipulation over a 10-year period in Canada, where approximately 30 million chiropractic visits occur each year. The case-control study by Rothwell and colleagues1 noted 6 cases of vertebral artery occlusion that could be attributed to chiropractic manipulation over a 6-year study period in Ontario, where 10 million chiropractic visits occur each year. This suggests that the number of cases brought to the attention of chiropractors was similar to that anticipated from the only case-control study in Canada."
Well, did Tim Danson really follow the instructions of the CMCC (Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College) and the CCA (Canadian Chiropractic Association) when he spoke those infamous words that
CMCC offers positions for 160 new students to train in the art and science of their beloved profession. How many graduate at the end of those four years of training? How many of them want to see their profession ground into obscurity by an abusive, and conniving legal eagle who just doesn't get it.
Lana Dale Lewis, preceded by Laurie Jean Mathiason in Saskatchewan have finally received their day in court, and it was good.
Foreign intrigue - why didn't they fly in for the inquest?
If you want to check with the two world-famous neuropathologists, you can reach them here. It would really be interesting if taxpayers' money was spent to send Tim Danson on a jaunt to the UK to discuss neuropathology with these learned professors. I thought that Tim Danson was paid by the chiropractors to go to the UK.:
Dr. Francesco Scaravilli
Department of Molecular Pathogenetics
Division of Neuropathology
Institute of Neurology
University College London
London WC1N 3BG,
DAVID I. GRAHAM, M.B., Ph.D.
Department of Neuropathology
Institute of Neurological Sciences
University of Glasgow, Southern General Hosp
1345 Govan Road
Glasgow G51 4TF,
44-141-201-2046; Fax: 44-141-201-2998
Comments on Danson's Last Stand
Sam Homola, D.C. - noted author and authority
In referring to the Lana Dale Lewis verdict, attorney Tim Danson said:
"This is the first time in medical history where a stroke is associated with chiropractic neck adjustment, when the neck adjustment was to the opposite side from where the stroke originated, and where there was not only no dissection or damage of any kind to the artery at the location of the adjustment, which is at the right vertebral artery in the neck, but also where there was no dissection to the left vertebral artery. In the case of Ms. Lewis, the neck adjustment was to the facet joint on the right side of the neck. There was no dispute in the evidence that there was no dissection or injury of any kind to the artery at the location of the adjustment. Meaning that at the location of the adjustment, Ms. Lewis’ artery was perfectly healthy. A damaged artery at the location of the adjustment is an absolutely minimal pre-condition to even a theoretical association with chiropractic."
According to Orthopedic Physical Assessment (W.B. Saunders Company, 1987), by David J. Magee, Ph.D., Faculty of Rehabilitative Medicine, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Alberta, Edmonton (Alberta, Canada), regarding rotation of the atlantoaxial joints (C1-C2), the most mobile joints in the spine:
"It must be remembered that rotation past 50 degrees in the cervical spine may lead to kinking of the contralateral vertebral artery; the epsilateral vertebral artery may kink at 45 degrees of rotation. This kinking may lead to vertigo, nausea, tinnitis, ‘drop attacks,’ and visual disturbances, stroke, or death."
This is something to consider, and difficult to prove, when looking for the origin of delayed vertebrobasilar stroke that might be caused by intimal clotting anywhere above C2 when cervical rotation exceeds 50 degrees, right or left, stretching the basilar artery if not kinking the vertebral artery on either side in its torturous route through the atlanto-occipital area.
The upper cervical area is the most mobile part of the spine, and the most vulnerable, not only because of that mobility, but because of its unique anatomical relationship with the brainstem and vertebral arteries. I often wonder how many people have died over the years because of BJ Palmer's "Hole In One" idea.
"Ms. Lewis had her neck adjusted, on the right side. . . . It is impossible, medically speaking, that you can do an adjustment to the right side, cause no injury to the artery and somehow cause damage in the skull on the opposite side," he said."
The attorney's comment is nonsense. It has no foundation in anatomical or biomechanical proven fact. It's wishful thinking, and Dr. Gordon Cheung, a neuroradiologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a witness for the family, refused to agree with Danson:
"In responding to Mr. Danson's review of evidence (page 4) that a right-side adjustment at C1/C2 cannot cause injury to the left vertebral artery, Dr. Cheung indicated that he doesn't accept that you cannot have a double-sided injury (i.e. injury to both arteries from rotation to one side)."
Only an attorney (or the CCA......, or any chiro doing damage control) could make such an ignorant statement. Just as surely as it is impossible to completely isolate the effects of a spinal manipulation only to the joint being manipulated, or impossible to move the joint (TMJ) on one side of the jaw without affecting the joint on the other side, just so is it also impossible to manipulate one part of a spinal joint without affecting other parts and other structures in the area, including nearby joints.