Family sues chiropractor in Playboy model's death

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Lori Stokes has the story.

The family of a Playboy model who died after visiting a chiropractor is now filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Katie May's relatives blame her death on medical malpractice, claiming the 34-year-old died last February because her doctor didn't advise her to get a CT scan.

The suit, filed on behalf of May's 8-year old daughter against chiropractor Eric Schwartz, argues "the defendants here did not exercise that reasonable degree of knowledge and skill required" with a neck manipulation.

"There was a clear and obvious death that was the result of clear negligence," attorney Ronald Richards said.

Before her death, May boasted more than two million Instagram followers. She tweeted about hurting her neck at a photoshoot a short time before her death, writing, "Pinched a nerve in my neck on a photoshoot and got adjusted this morning. It really hurts!"

The coroner's report said the chiropractor tore one of the arteries in her neck, cutting off blood flow to her brain. It ruled "blunt force injury of neck" as the cause of death.

In a statement to ABC News, Schwartz's attorney said, "We recognize how tragic the situation is, but an unfortunate outcome does not necessarily mean that malpractice occurred. Let's not try this case by allegations and innuendo."

The lawsuit also claims May's daughter "is traumatized by the loss of her mother and best friend," adding any money that comes from the case will go to her college fund.

"The fundamental question that the jury or judge is going to decide is was the chiropractor negligent," ABC legal contributor Dan Abrams said. "Not did she die as a result of what he did or didn't do."
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