Gadolinium is a metal found in the contrast dyes that are used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, including magnetic resonance angiographies (MRAs), which are used to view the blood vessels of patients suffering from serious medical conditions. In 2007, researchers established a link between gadolinium-based contrast agents and a potentially fatal disease known as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis/nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NSF/NFD).
Gadolinium lawyers and their clients claim that the manufacturers of gadolinium contrast agents should have done more to warn doctors and patients of the potential dangers associated with their products. If you suspect that you or someone you know has been harmed by an MRA involving gadolinium contrast agents, contact a personal injury attorney who can assess your case and determine whether you have a right to compensation. Statutes of limitations limit the time you have to file a lawsuit.
Types of Gadolinium Compensation
In some cases, patients and the families of patients harmed by defective treatment modalities such as drugs like gadolinium may be able to gain compensation through two types of lawsuits.
Personal injury gadolinium lawsuits are filed by or on behalf of a person suffering from gadolinium side effects. A personal injury lawsuit typically seeks compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income
- Lost prospects
- Other related expenses
When a person dies as a consequence of exposure to a defective drug, his or her family can file a survival claim to recover damages that otherwise might have been recovered by the decedent (the person actually harmed by the defective drug). In addition the family may be able to file a negligent accident claim.
Wrongful death gadolinium lawsuits are filed on behalf of the decedent's estate or his or her immediate family members. In this type of lawsuit the family may be able to receive gadolinium compensation for:
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Lost future financial aid such as income, gifts, inheritances and other factors
- Non-economic damages such as loss of affection
- Punitive damages
Punitive damages are intended to punish the companies or entities responsible for the patient's exposure to gadolinium. They are also meant to prevent the company (and other companies) from future wrongful actions. Punitive damages are not always awarded.
Filing a Gadolinium Lawsuit
In 2007, the Danish Medicines Agency reported 25 cases of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF), also known as nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NFD), in patients suffering from kidney disorders. NSF/NSD is a condition that, depending on the patient, may manifest itself in the form of skin lesions and/or scarring in the connective tissues surrounding the kidneys.
As a result of these cases, a number of gadolinium lawsuits have been filed. Gadolinium lawyers representing the patients affected by NSF/NSD claim that the manufacturers of gadolinium contrast dyes should have taken stronger action to inform doctors and the public of the potential risks of their drugs. Some gadolinium lawsuits also claim that the manufacturers failed to conduct adequate testing on these drugs.
Since the late '80s, five gadolinium-based contrast agents have been approved by the FDA:
- Omniscan (gadodiamide), produced by GE Healthcare
- MultiHance (gadobenate dimeglumine), produced by Bracco
- OptiMARK (gadoversetamide), produced by Mallinckrodt
- ProHance (gadoteridol), produced by Bracco
- Magnevist (gadopentetate dimeglumine), produced by Bayer Healthcare
Depending on the state in which you reside, your gadolinium attorney may rely on several legal theories to support your case. Your attorney may cite negligence on the part of the manufacturer or use a claim of strict liability. (With a strict liability claim, negligence does not need to be proven.) Some states have pharmaceutical liability statutes that account for both negligence and compensation for defective products. A qualified personal injury or wrongful death lawyer can determine which of these legal arguments apply.
When You Might Need an Attorney
If you or a loved one experienced side effects as a result of a gadolinium contrast dye, a gadolinium lawyer can evaluate your case and help determine if you are eligible for compensation. Your attorney will conduct research to identify any expert testimony that may be needed to support your case. This may include pharmacological, regulatory and other issues that are often addressed in defective drug cases.
In some situations, the best option is to file or join a class action gadolinium lawsuit. Class action lawsuits are often filed when drugs such as gadolinium lead to dangerous side effects in large numbers of patients. Class action lawsuits sometimes reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars. For more information, contact a gadolinium attorney who is familiar with the laws in your state.
Statutes of limitations usually limit the time plaintiffs have to file a wrongful death lawsuit to two years.