Gadolinium MRI Lawsuit 2019
Many patients who have received a gadolinium contrast agent during an MRI filed a lawsuit after the long-term effects of this substance devastated their bodies.
At least one-third of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans are performed with a contrast agent known as Gadolinium to enhance the quality of the image. Despite being marketed for decades as a safe product, this substance has been recently found to be associated with severe toxicity. In some patients the metal is, in fact, retained inside the body after the procedure, slowly damaging the brain, bones and other internal organs.
If you experienced symptoms such as chronic fatigue, brain fog, bone pain or memory loss after undergoing an MRI with contrast, you might file for compensation. Seeking the help of a competent lawyer as soon as possible is vital to be able to hold those who harmed you liable. Call us today – we’re here to assist you in every way possible.
What is Gadolinium and how it works during an MRI?
An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a medical imaging technique that uses radio waves and magnetic fields to create precise and accurate images of the human body. Radiologists use MRIs to examine internal body structures and physiological processes, and to detect injuries and conditions such as tumors and aneurysms.
Sometimes, the level of detail provided by a “normal” MRI is not sufficient to discover the most subtle anomalies, so doctors recommend the use of a so-called contrast agent to enhance the quality of the images. Gadolinium is a metal that is frequently used in conjunction with other chemicals for this purpose. After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval to gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) in 1998, more than 300 million patients worldwide have used it.
Why is Gadolinium toxic and dangerous?
Today, there are at least nine different contrast GBCAs available on the U.S. market. In most patients, the metal is usually eliminated through normal urination in a relatively short amount of time. Since the production of urines depends on the health of the kidneys, it was once believed that only patients with renal issues were at risk of gadolinium intoxication. Back in 2006, in fact, the FDA put a black box on two common agents, Magnevist and Omniscan, to warn patients who had kidney problems about the danger.
However, after some years of use, the FDA started receiving an alarming number of adverse reaction reports filed by patients all over the country who had no pre-existing kidney problems. Eventually, it was discovered a concerning amount of cases of people who showed clear symptoms of gadolinium retention and toxicity. In December 2017, the FDA issued a new warning to be displayed on all gadolinium-based contrast agents to warn the public about this potentially lethal threat even in healthy patients.
As the metal slowly builds up inside the patient’s body, it can severely damage many organs, the brain, and the bones. Common symptoms of gadolinium toxicity include:
- Sudden and excruciating pain
- Skin damage (itching, redness, burning)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chronic headaches
- Fatigue, weakness and confusion
- Sight loss and dry eyes
- Swollen lips and mouth
- Memory loss
Chuck Norris files a lawsuit after an MRI contrast agent poisoned his wife
In November 2017, the American action movie star Chuck Norris filed a lawsuit in the San Francisco Superior Court, claiming that his wife Gena suffered from severe gadolinium toxicity after an MRI scan.
According to the suit, Gena Norris suffered from an intense burning in her body and “rapid heart-pounding” within eight days after undergoing three MRI scans. Even though the woman had to be treated both in Texas and in a Chinese hospital, she still suffers from a number of symptoms ranging from hot, burning pain to muscle cramps that severely affect her quality of life.
Norris’ lawyers sued manufacturers such as Bracco S.p.A. and McKesson Corporation, alleging that the companies failed to warn the public of the risks associated with gadolinium use, and voluntarily withheld information about its dangerousness.
The current state of the MRI litigation (2019)
Back in June 2008, many lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of the GBCAs have been consolidated in the Multidistrict Litigation MDL No. 1909: Gadolinium Contrast Dyes Products Liability Litigation. However, the current issues related to MRIs and contrast agents are different from those found in this MDL, and many expect a new mass tort to be centralized soon.
Some of the MRI cases already went to trial, such as one that resulted in a $5 million verdict against GE Healthcare in 2013 (the plaintiff, however, died shortly after the trial was over). The manufacturers keep claiming that there’s no risk that gadolinium could be left behind in a patient’s body, but, in truth, they kept settling hundreds of lawsuits for years.
A company is, in fact, fully responsible for distributing a safe and effective product. If anyone gets harmed by the unexpected side effects of such products, the manufacturers must be held fully responsible for all the damage.
If you are among the unfortunate ones who suffered any harm after undergoing an MRI with a contrast agent, you have the right to seek compensation. Get in touch today, and together we will fight to defend your rights.