- Chuck and Gena Norris File Lawsuit Alleging Gadolinium Deposition Disease
- November 29, 2017 | Author: Todd Alan Walburg
- Law Firm: Cutter Law P.C. - Oakland Office
November 29, 2017
It's a disease not many people have heard a lot about, but it's one that is making headlines more frequently thanks to a high-profile lawsuit filed by Chuck and Gena Norris. Gadolinium deposition disease might be a relatively newly-named disease but its effects can be devastating. Because not a lot is known about the disease, it's difficult for doctors to diagnose it and forcing the patients to endure pain and suffering for longer than they should. As a result of Gena's ordeal, Chuck and Gena filed a lawsuit against Bracco, McKesson, and other defendants, saying the pharmaceutical companies failed to warn about the risks associated with the use of gadolinium.
What is Gadolinium Deposition Disease?
Gadolinium deposition disease (GDD) is a disease that occurs when a person with normally or near-normally functioning kidneys is exposed to gadolinium for too long a period, increasing the risk that they will experience side effects. GDD is incurable and symptoms can begin any time from hours to months after a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) has been administered.
Previously, gadolinium was linked to a condition called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. In that situation, gadolinium was not effectively excreted by the patient's kidneys due to the patient's kidneys not having normal function. Companies that manufacture gadolinium-based contrast agents argued that the only risk of adverse reactions was in people with abnormal kidney function. In reality, even patients with normal renal function can experience gadolinium side effects.
Gadolinium Side Effects
Gadolinium is a heavy metal often used in MRIs to enhance the images in the MRI. Some reported side effects:
- Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis
- Gadolinium deposition disease
- Gadolinium storage condition
- Burning sensations
- Cognitive problems
- Shortness of breath
Delays in Diagnosis
A major concern about gadolinium deposition disease and their marketing is that because doctors and patients think only patients with abnormal kidney function are affected by gadolinium, it can take a long time for patients with normal kidney function to receive an accurate diagnosis. In Gena Norris' case, it was several years after a series of three MRIs taken over eight-days before she knew what was causing her pain, which included burning in her abdomen, brain fog, deteriorating health, and kidney problems.
"We have clients who have been misdiagnosed with Lyme disease, ALS, and then they've eventually ruled all those things out and the culprit remaining is the gadolinium," said Cutter Law, P.D., attorney Todd Walburg, who represents the Norrises.
Even with a diagnosis of gadolinium deposition disease, Gena's ordeal is not over. She continues to require regular stem cell treatment and still suffers the side effects of gadolinium.
"After almost five years of dealing with this condition, which has only recently become known as Gadolinium Deposition Disease, it is difficult for me to recount this ordeal," Gena Norris wrote to the FDA Medical Imaging Drugs Advisory Committee Meeting (read by Cutter Law Attorney Todd Walburg). "It brings back horrific memories that I have tried to block out, but some things I cannot forget."
Gadolinium Retained in the Brain and Tissues
Research has shown that gadolinium can be retained in a patient's tissues, including the brain. Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held an advisory committee meeting during which the committee voted to change the warning on certain gadolinium-based contrast agents to warn of the risk of possible retention in the brain. The FDA has said it will continue to monitor the situation.
The Norrises might be the highest-profile plaintiffs in the fight against GBCA manufacturers, but they are not the only ones. Other patients are also coming forward with allegations that they have suffered long-term effects as a result of gadolinium exposure. The Norrises, who filed a suit seeking $10 million, say they want to raise awareness of the condition.
"We are pursuing this litigation to shine a light on a problem that has not been addressed by the pharmaceutical companies that make MRI contrast agents," Gena Norris said in her statement (read by Cutter Law attorney Todd Walburg). "And we are trying to give a voice to the thousands of other victims who have been ignored."
In addition to representing Chuck and Gena Norris, attorneys at Cutter Law, P.C., represent plaintiffs who have filed both state and federal lawsuits against the manufacturers of gadolinium-based contrast agents. Those lawsuits are still in the early stages. If you or a loved one believe you have been harmed by the use of a GBCA, contact an attorney at Cutter Law, P.C., to discuss your legal options.
We have been at the forefront of gadolinium deposition disease litigation and our attorneys are highly experienced in advocating for patients who have been adversely affected by pharmaceutical products. Contact Cutter Law, P.C., for a no-obligation consultation.
The lawsuit is case number CGC-17-562228, in the Superior Court for the State of California, County of San Francisco.