WEST HOLLYWOOD—The estate of Playboy model Katie May, who died in 2016 of a stroke after a chiropractic adjustment, is suing West Hollywood chiropractor, Dr. Eric Marc Swartz, and his practice, Back to Total Health, TMZ first reported. Alex Maimon, the executor of the estate and father of May’s 8-year-old daughter, filed the suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday, June 14, alleging wrongful death, medical malpractice, and negligence.
Katie May, known as the “Queen of Snapchat,” died on February 4, 2016 after suffering a stroke, according to reports. On January 29, the 34-year-old model posted on Twitter that she had a pinched nerve in her neck from a photoshoot and had gotten a chiropractic adjustment. She returned for another adjustment on February 1, after which she began complaining of dizziness and headaches. According to the lawsuit, May was taken to a hospital with left-sided weakness and difficulty speaking. She lost consciousness before her parents arrived at the hospital.
In October 2016, Los Angeles Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter disclosed that the cause of May’s death was vertebral artery dissection, caused by manipulation of the neck. Dr. Eric Swartz allegedly shifted May’s neck in a way that tore her left vertebral artery, blocking the blood flow to her brain and causing a stroke.
Maimon alleges that Dr. Swartz is at fault for May’s death because he did not send her to the hospital for an accurate diagnosis before treating her. The lawsuit also claims the chiropractor did not write his patient report for May until February 5, four days after treating her and one day after her death, raising questions of whether he changed his report after hearing of her hospitalization.
The suit was filed on behalf of Maimon and May’s daughter, Mia.
“Now, over a year after her death, (the daughter) cannot stop talking about her mother and the moments they shared together,” the suit states.
Katie May was a Los Angeles-based brand ambassador, businesswoman who co-founded May-Levy PR and Marketing, and social media star with more than one million Instagram followers. She modeled for publications such as “Sports Illustrated,” “GQ,” and “Playboy.”
“My life has been an incredible journey thus far with a lot of curve balls and lessons along the way,” May said in a Huffington Post interview in January 2016. “I would have to say the most valuable would have to be as a single mother.”