Gadolinium based contrast agents are medicines administered intravenously to make a sharp distinction between normal and abnormal cells, before certain MRI or MRA procedures are done.

However, the dangerous side effects of the drug have led to numerous lawsuits being filed in recent years. At present, there are 68 lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of these contrast agents, on behalf of injured victims suffering from NSF or NFD. The U.S. Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) Judicial Panel has ruled that all the petitions filed against the manufacturers of these dyes, will be centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. In scenarios like these where many plaintiffs are filing lawsuits against a few defendants with common issues of facts and law, this type of litigation coordination proceeding is common. An MDL setup mainly speeds up the litigation procedures thereby promising quicker trials and settlements for victims. Lawsuit costs are also comparatively lower as the discovery phase of the litigation occurs only once for each defendant and not for every individual lawsuit.

The first case of nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy or later renamed as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis was reported way back in the year 1997, when patients suffering from impaired kidney functions developed areas of thick and hard skin which impaired their movements. Since then there has been no end to such reports. Most recent of the lawsuits are those of:

  1. A Philadelphia resident-

    who has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of Omniscan- General Electric Company. As per the lawsuit allegations the plaintiff suffered from NSF/ NFD after receiving two shots of gadolinium contrast dyes during an MRI session because Omniscan happens to be a defective drug. The chemical nature of Omniscan is such that it causes the gadolinium to become free in the body. Other than this for a person who is suffering from kidney disorders, gadolinium cannot be excreted easily out as it is mainly dispelled from the body through the kidneys. As a result the patient suffers from NFS/ NFD. The lawsuit also alleges that the manufacturers failed to test the drug to determine if it caused NFS/ NFD, and in turn did not warn the customers suffering from kidney ailments or otherwise, suitably.

  2. A Florida resident-

    asked the lawyer to file a lawsuit on his behalf against General Electric Company. This lawsuit also alleges the same facts that he suffered from NFS/ NFD after administering gadolinium based contrast agent during an MRI session. The claims are by and large the same as that of the Philadelphia case stating that the Gadolinium was indeed a dangerous medicine to be used by patients suffering from any kind of kidney related problems and also that manufacturer did not appropriately warn such type of patients.

Gadolinium class action suits and other MRI lawsuits are being investigated against the makers of these contrast agent dyes. The health hazards are caused due to the fact that manufactures do not carry out adequate research on their products to understand the pro’s and con’s of the drug on people suffering from impaired kidney functions. As a result, the makers are unable to warn the customers sufficiently, thereby causing causalities. Anybody who has suffered from NFS/ NFD or any kind of ailment due to the use of Gadolinium based contrast agent, is liable for a compensation recovering the damages for pain, suffering, medical cost, inability to work, mental anguish, and other losses. The sufferer needs to contact a specialized attorney for a case evaluation and determine if there can be any scope of compensations.