Health Network Sues to Have Chiropractor Shoulder Some of a January Settlement Over a Sports Concussion

Mar 22, 2024

The Allegheny Health Network (AHN) has sued a chiropractor, claiming she should shoulder some of the financial burden arising from a settlement the network and other defendants reached with former high school football player Jonathan Heubel over the concussions he suffered, which have led to permanent brain damage.

Specifically, AHN sued chiropractor Phoebe Kutterna over claims of joint liability.

By way of background, Heubel was a star senior linebacker for McDowell High School, which is located in Millcreek Township, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Erie. In a game against Cathedral Preparatory School in Millcreek Township on Sept. 15, 2020, Heubel removed himself from the game in the second half and then collapsed on the sidelines. Soon thereafter, he was airlifted to a hospital in Pittsburgh, where he underwent surgery and other procedures for a traumatic brain injury.

Heubel, who today is unable to care for himself, and his mother and legal guardian, Megan Beasley, filed a lawsuit in Erie County Common Pleas Court. Specifically, they claimed professional negligence, claiming that the athletic training staff failed to properly diagnose and treat a concussion that Heubel suffered weeks before the game. Heubel, they alleged, was the victim of second impact syndrome. They alleged that he wasn’t fully healed when he played in the September 15 game.

At the time, they sought $22.5 million in damages, according to court records, which included $19.8 million to cover lifetime medical costs. In January, a settlement was reached, leading to the latest lawsuit.

AHN claims that Kutterna’s treatment of Heubel for unrelated symptoms contributed to his injuries. A trial is set for July.

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