Gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) are used in approximately one third of all MRI scans to improve quality of the resulting MRI image. GBCA-enhanced MRI images might facilitate a more accurate diagnosis, but since at least 2014, the safety of GBCAs has been a hotly debated issue. A study released that year revealed that gadolinium from the GBCAs might be deposited and retained in brain tissue, which can lead to debilitating illnesses.
The attorneys at Showard Law Firm in Arizona understand the risks that MRI patients are exposed to when physicians and medical centers use GBCAs to enhance MRI scans. If the diagnostic process is worse than the disease and the patient’s health is compromised by that process, the patient might have a valid claim against the health care providers and GBCA suppliers.
Gadolinium MRI Lawsuit Information
Gadolinium is used in liquids injected into patients who are undergoing an MRI to enhance the image created by the MRI. There is evidence that gadolinium does not leave the body as quickly as the drug manufacturers promised. As a result, it is being retained in various parts of the body, putting the patient at risk of exposure to excess gadolinium.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will require additional warnings for gadolinium-based agents. The move came after a hearing about gadolinium at which various experts and patients spoke about gadolinium retention in the human body, including in organs and the brain.
Gadolinium Toxicity Risks and Symptoms
Your body will generally filter out and excrete gadolinium after you have had a GBCA enhanced MRI. If that does not happen, you can develop gadolinium deposition disease (GDD) and experience symptoms such as:
- Pain and burning sensations in your limbs, bones, and joints
- Headaches and confusion, with long-term cognitive difficulties
- Itchy and irritated skin
- Hair loss
- Digestion and breathing problems
- Hardening or thickening of soft tissue
These symptoms scan appear any time up to several months after a GBCA enhanced MRI scan. Moreover, like lead or mercury, gadolinium is a heavy metal substance that can build up in your body if you have multiple GBCA enhanced MRIs over any period of time.
If you have been diagnosed with GDD, your health care provider will likely prescribe oral or intravenous chelation treatments to rid your body of the substance. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you might need one to three weekly chelation treatments over a period of several months.
Filing a Gadolinium Deposition Disease Lawsuit
If you are experiencing symptoms of gadolinium deposition disease, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced gadolinium toxicity lawyer to assess your case as quickly as possible, even if your physician has not finalized any diagnosis. Each state has a strict statute of limitations that sets a deadline for initiating a product liability lawsuit. Patients that disregard their own GDD symptoms are assuming a significant risk of losing all opportunity to recover compensation for their damages.
If you are experiencing GDD symptoms, you might also have an opportunity to join an MRI class action lawsuit that will include your claims along with similar claims from other GDD sufferers. There is also currently a hearing set for late September 2018 which may consolidate cases into Multidistrict Litigation.
Gadolinium Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
If the facts in your case do show a connection between GBCA and your symptoms and illness, the compensation that you might receive in a gadolinium toxicity lawsuit will depend on your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include your past and anticipated future medical costs, loss of income and earning opportunities, and rehabilitation expenses. Non-economic damages compensate you for your pain and suffering and any impairments to your lifestyle.
Demands for compensation and monetary awards in a few of the early gadolinium toxicity lawsuits reveal the extent of the damages suffered by patients who were not fully informed of GBCA risks.
- A $5 million damages award to an Ohio man in a 2013 trial was affirmed on appeal. He had been in kidney failure before his MRI scan and the gadolinium exposure caused a condition that hardened the skin and muscles in his limbs.
- In November 2017, the wife of actor, Chuck Norris, initiated a lawsuit seeking $10 million in damages after she experienced intense burning sensations following three separate MRI procedures.
To date, thousands of gadolinium toxicity lawsuits are working their way through different court systems. Plaintiffs in these lawsuits allege that the manufacturers of GBCAs were aware of gadolinium toxicity risks but failed to fully inform patients about them.
Are You Eligible to File a Gadolinium Lawsuit?
Showard Law Firm in Tucson includes a team of experienced attorneys with special knowledge of the risks and hazards associated with GBCA enhanced MRI scans. We use our expertise to represent clients in Arizona and throughout the United States to recover the compensation they deserve when health care providers and medical equipment suppliers have failed to fulfill their disclosure obligations prior to performing complex medical procedures. Please see our website or call us for more information on how we can make you whole when you are experiencing gadolinium-based symptoms.
Additional Resources on Gadolinium MRI Lawsuits:
- gov: FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns that gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCA) are retained in the body; requires new class warnings https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm589213.htm.
- com: FDA Requires New Warning on MRI ‘Dyes’ that Chuck Norris Says Poisoned His Wife. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ritarubin/2017/12/26/fda-requires-new-warning-on-mri-dyes-that-chuck-norris-says-poisoned-his-wife/#31d112277804
- com: The Debate Over Gadolinium MRI Toxicity. https://www.itnonline.com/article/debate-over-gadolinium-mri-contrast-toxicity
- com: Gadolinium Contrast Medium (MRI Contrast Agents). https://www.insideradiology.com.au/gadolinium-contrast-medium/