Woman sues Hays doctor for $20 million, claiming he caused her stroke

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A Nebraska woman who received care from a Hays chiropractor is suing him for $20 million, claiming he didn’t tell medics about a stroke she started having in his office.

The federal lawsuit says that on Feb. 16, 2012, Kenneth Koerner of Koerner Chiropractic manipulated Melissa Hadley’s body in a way that caused a blood clot to form. Four days later, Hadley revisited Koerner, and he caused the blood clot to break loose, triggering the stroke, the lawsuit alleges.

Koerner’s attorney, Brad Dowd of Kansas City, Mo., said the new claim is past the statute of limitations, so he plans file a motion to have to new case dismissed.

During the visit, Koerner examined Hadley’s pupils and noted they were dilated, but when the Ellis County Medical Service arrived a few minutes later, Koerner didn’t tell emergency workers about her dilated pupils, Hadley’s attorney, Caleb Boone, said in the lawsuit.

When she got to the hospital, doctors discharged Hadley under the presumption that she had a stomach flu, not knowing she showed signs of a stroke at the chiropractor’s office, the lawsuit says.

This is the second lawsuit filed against Koerner by Hadley.

The first, which was filed in 2014 and also included the hospital, was dismissed in February.

A court document from October 2016 says Hadley resolved all claims against the medical center and other named defendants from the hospital, but still kept her claims against Koerner. A judge dismissed the lawsuit against Koerner without prejudice in February, meaning Hadley and Boone had six months to refile.

Hadley is asking for $15 million in damages and $5 million for pain, suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, disability, lost wages and medical expenses.

According to the board of Healing Arts, Koerner has been licensed since 2009 and has never had any actions against him.

At the time of the visits, Hadley was living in Kansas.

Nichole Manna: 316-269-6752, @NicholeManna