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  • In a startling lawsuit, famous actor Chuck Norris, claims that a dye used to enhance an MRI scan poisoned his wife.
Monday, 13 November 2017 00:00

In a startling lawsuit, famous actor Chuck Norris, claims that a dye used to enhance an MRI scan poisoned his wife.

Written by Jonathan Druckman

The allegations stem back to late 2012 when his wife, Gena Norris, began experiencing unusual symptoms after undergoing three MRI scans over the course of an eight-day period.

The lawsuit is seeking more than $10 million in damages against 11 different manufactures of linear gadolinium-based contrast agents. Chuck Norris claims that after his wife fell ill, he was forced to forego his acting career in order to care for her. Gena claims that treatment she has undergone has resulted in $2 million in out-of-pocket medical expenses. Chuck Norris filed this lawsuit on November 1st on behalf of his wife. The same law firm that is representing Mr. & Mrs. Norris has also filed other lawsuits on behalf of patients who claim to also be suffering from gadolinium poisoning. The science is still not clear as to whether there is a link between gadolinium poisoning and the type of symptoms that Gena Norris is experiencing. But similar to the ongoing Talc Powder litigation that Johnson & Johnson is dealing with, this could just be the opening of the floodgates to a mass wave to litigation. At the current moment, however, the causation appears tenuous at best, but these lawsuits may also trigger additional research to look more deeply at the connection.

After numerous hospital visits, the pains remained. Gena Norris apparently sought treatment across the country and even all the way to China to receive alternative treatments not available in the United States. Those treatments included a controversial chelation therapy as well as stem cell treatments. Although her symptoms have reportedly improved, she claims that she is still not back to full health. According to the lawsuit, she continues to suffer from cramps in her hands and strange hot sensations running up her spine. She claims that she doesn’t blame the doctors for her problems, but rather the companies who produce the gadolinium-based contract agents, also known as GBCAs. The named Defendants in the lawsuit include GBCA manufacturers, Bracco S.p.A., ACIST Medical Systems, and McKesson Corporation.

Gadolinium by itself can actually be a highly toxic heavy metal. However, in the MRI agent solution there are other chemicals that bind to the gadolinium compound to prevent the toxicity. The reason why people are injected with such agents is to help doctors who are reviewing the MRI results. The agent contrasts veins and other blood vessels to show which areas are receiving a lot of blood flow. GBCAs have been used for MRIs since 1988. In most patients there is never an incident and the agent is simple passed through the urine a short time later. However, in patients who have kidney failure, those patients may be unable to process the agents. According to the American College of Radiology, about 30 million people receive gadolinium each year.

The FDA has reviewed evidence of such claims and concluded that there was not enough evidence to link harm to gadolinium in people with ordinary functioning kidneys. However, it should be noted that the European Medicines Agency took several gadolinium agents off the market back in July of 2017 as a precautionary measure despite the lack of evidence of a health risk.

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