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Estate of Playboy Model Katie May Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Chiropractor

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Katie May and her daughter, Mia

The estate of Katie May, the former Playboy model who died in Feb. 2016 at age 34 of a stroke after a chiropractic adjustment, is suing the chiropractor for wrongful death.

The estate, held by Alex Maimon, the father of May’s only daughter, Mia May-Maimon, 8, is seeking money to pay for Mia’s college tuition.

Ronald Richards, the attorney for May’s estate, filed the lawsuit against Dr. Eric Swartz and his Los Angeles practice, Back to Total Health, on June 14. The lawsuit, obtained by PEOPLE, also alleges medical malpractice and negligence.

PEOPLE has contacted Swartz for comment.

Maimon claims that Swartz mistreated May by adjusting her neck, and should have recognized that she needed hospitalization. The Los Angeles County Coroner determined Oct. 19 that May died as a result of an injury sustained during a “neck manipulation by chiropractor,” and that Swartz shifted May’s neck in a way that tore her left vertebral artery, blocking blood flow to the brain and resulting in a stroke.

“I think that the coroner’s report corroborates that it was the chiropractor’s manipulation that was the cause of death,” Richards tells PEOPLE.

RELATED VIDEO: Playboy Model Katie May Died After Chiropractor Ruptured an Artery in Her Neck, Coroner Says

 

Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that Swartz did not write his patient report for May until Feb. 5, four days after treating her and one day after her death.

“It begs Plaintiffs to question whether Dr. Swartz went back to change his report after he was notified that May was hospitalized and subsequently died because of his treatment, the neck manipulation.”

“He just tried to basically whitewash them and try to pretend all of a sudden now that he was making notes,” Richards adds. “It was odd, like he went to someone and asked how to make notes that made him the least culpable.”

Richards and Maimon had originally hoped for a settlement out of court, but were unable to come to one with Swartz and his insurance company.

“Honestly, we were willing to settle within policy — we weren’t trying to hurt the doctor,” he says. “We’re just hoping that the daughter gets a college fund — we don’t want anything unreasonable.”

May’s mother, Janet, was not aware that Maimon had officially filed the lawsuit.

“I don’t know what to say because it doesn’t bring our daughter back. If it brought our daughter back then I’d be so excited about it. But my daughter’s gone and we’ll never see her again so it doesn’t matter what happens,” Janet tells PEOPLE.

  • Additional reporting by CHAR ADAMS