Chuck Norris’s Wife Withdraws Personal Injury Lawsuit Against MRI Drug Manufacturer
Actor Chuck Norris and his wife, Gena, have voluntarily withdrawn their $10 million personal injury lawsuit against MRI drugmaker, Bracco Diagnostics Inc. The 2017 lawsuit had been filed in San Francisco County Court and alleged that Ms. Norris experienced a number of health complications following a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan that included an intravenous injection of gadolinium.
The lawsuit claimed that shortly after undergoing the MRI procedure Norris experienced “debilitating, burning pain in her abdomen and elsewhere” which “led to cognitive deficits, kidney damage, loss of mobility and difficulty breathing because of damage to her ribs.”
Bracco Diagnostics Inc. was one of 11 drugmakers named in the suit. The complaint cited negligence on the part of the companies in failing to warn Norris or her doctors that the contrast used in the test carried a risk of disease. Specifically, the suit alleged that a metal agent from the drug could be filtered into the body and cause adverse health effects. At the time the lawsuit was filed, the couple issued a public statement contending, “These companies continue to say that there is no link between gadolinium and adverse events, even though the evidence is overwhelming that this heavy metal stays in the body for years, rather than hours.”
According to the lawsuit, since Ms. Norris acquired gadolinium deposition disease (GDD) the couple has spent over $2 million in out-of-pocket expenses to cover the cost of her medical treatment. Additionally, the suit alleged “drug companies and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have known about problems with gadolinium since the 1980s, and further studies have generated more evidence that the metal can hurt people, even those with normal kidney function, for years after they’re injected.”
Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, the FDA announced that it would require a new warning label on all gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs). Nine GBCAs are currently approved by the FDA, and all carry the new warning alerting health-care professionals to the possibility that gadolinium can remain in the body, including the brain, for months-to-years after a MRI scan. Additionally, the FDA now requires that all patients and caregivers receive a medication guide before being administered a GBCA. The medication guide reportedly includes information regarding the effects of gadolinium retention in the body.
Following the withdrawal of the lawsuit, the drugmaker issued a press release stating, “Bracco takes patient safety very seriously and stands behind the safety of all of its products, including the MR contrast agents ProHance (Gadoteridol) Injection, 279.3 mg/mL and MultiHance.”
According to Bracco’s statement, “The case is now closed. The decision to dismiss the lawsuit was entirely that of Mr. and Mrs. Norris and their attorneys. No settlement payment was made and each party paid their own costs.”
The Norrises have yet to comment on any rationale behind the decision to withdraw the lawsuit.