5 Million Verdict in First Gadolinium Injury Trial

A $5 million jury verdict was handed down in the first of the federal multidistrict litigation cases involving patients claiming injury from the body scan contrast agent gadolinium. The Ohio jury found GE Healthcare chose not to provide the necessary health risk warnings with patients with impaired kidney function when gadolinium is used in a body scan. The gadolinium product is a contrast dye used in MRI and other radiographic scanning.

The plaintiff in this case developed an untreatable skin disease called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) as a result of being injected with the Omniscan for magnetic resonance angiogram. Omniscan is the prescription medication with gadolinium as a product that is used to screen patients for acute kidney injury or other conditions related to reduced renal function.

The drug makers of the Omniscan product, GE Healthcare, Bayer and Covidien have defended hundreds of lawsuits claiming injuries from the gadolinium-based contrast agent products. 

The Federal Drug Administration first issued its warning about the risk of NSF in 2006. The risk is specific as to those who are suffering from a renal disease. 

The disease, nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is a progressive and often fatal illness. There is no known treatment for it. 

The Ohio federal jury verdict became one of nearly 1,000 other federal cases that were consolidated in the federal multidistrict litigation in Cleveland. Most of the other cases in the multidistrict litigation were settled. This case was the first to go to trial. The jury found that GE Healthcare was responsible for the injuries to the plaintiff for choosing not to provide adequate warnings. The jury did not find GE Healthcare responsible for design defect or misrepresentation, which were also part of the lawsuit.

The jury awarded the plaintiff $1 million for economic losses and $3.5 million for noneconomic losses. The wife of the plaintiff received $500,000 for loss of consortium. According to the report of this case, GE Healthcare knew of the risks associated with the gadolinium product as far back as 2005, but chose not to relay that information to doctors. GE Healthcare had known that there were toxins in this product. 

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling pharmaceutical product defect cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 37 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Prospect Heights, Palatine, Chicago (Jefferson Park), Maywood, Chicago (West Town), Elmhurst, Villa Park, Oakbrook, Clarendon Hills, Chicago (Avalon Park), Burbank and Bridgeport, Ill.

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