08/11/2015 08:30 EDT | Updated 08/11/2015 08:59 EDT

Billy McNeely, Yellowknife Man, Who Found Knife Blade In His Back Files Lawsuit

"I always had back pains. There was always a burning feeling with it."

YELLOWKNIFE — A man from the Northwest Territories has filed a lawsuit against health officials claiming they failed to find a knife blade buried in his back for three years.

Billy McNeely has said in a previous interview with The Canadian Press that he went to the health centre in Fort Good Hope in 2010 after an arm-wrestling contest at a house party led to a fight with another man.

McNeely was stabbed five times.

Staff stitched him up and sent him home, he said, but he returned to the health centre and later visited the Yellowknife hospital with recurring pain.

Nothing was found.

"I always had back pains. There was always a burning feeling with it," said McNeely, who added that he also mysteriously set off metal detectors.

In 2013, after he woke up in bed to find something poking out of his back, doctors dug out a blade measuring seven centimetres long.

The lawsuit, filed in April 2014, names the Sahtu Health and Social Services Authority, the Stanton Territorial Health Authority, four doctors and two unknown nurses.

McNeely claims he has suffered chronic back pain, abscesses, infection and sleep disturbances.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

Statements of defence from the doctors, filed in court in May, say they weren't working at the health centre when McNeely came in with stab wounds. Two argue that they gave treatment advice to nurses over the phone.

The two doctors working in Yellowknife claim they properly examined McNeely and reviewed his medical records.

All four say they provided "competent medical care" and allege the man contributed to his own injuries by failing to follow medical advice and see a family doctor on an ongoing basis.

The doctors further claim the McNeely's injuries or losses are "excessive, exaggerated and too remote."

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