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Chuck Norris Takes Fight to Big Pharma

Claiming that heavy metal from an MRI drug is leading to a debilitating illness, Chuck Norris and his wife Gena are suing seven pharmaceutical and medical diagnostic companies and their subsidiaries for failing to warn Gena or her healthcare providers of the risks of gadolinium. Gadolinium Deposition Disease (GDD) occurs when patients who have been injected with gadolinium-based contrast agents for help in MRI readings later develop persistent symptoms like headaches, bone and joint pain, and clouded mental activity.

The Norrises are seeking over $10 million from McKesson Corporation, Bracco Diagnostics, and others. You can read their full lawsuit below.

Course of Legal Action

Gena Norris lamented the lack of warnings about the dangers of gadolinium and the need for a lawsuit to increase warnings in the future. "Unfortunately, litigation is the only course of action we can take to hold the drug companies accountable for threatening the lives of so many innocent people who undergo MRIs," Norris said in a statement. "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."

Gena claims she had normal kidney function before a serious of MRI scans (three in just one week) in 2012 to examine her rheumatoid arthritis. After, she was "hospitalized numerous times when she suffered multiple, debilitating bouts of pain and burning throughout her body following MRIs and resulting gadolinium poisoning." The lawsuit claims the family has spent $2 million for GDD treatment in the past 5 years.

FDA Inaction

The lawsuit also points to the FDA and its mixed messages regarding gadolinium. The FDA previously warned that patients with weak kidneys should avoid gadolinium, then extended the warning to patients without kidney problems. The FDA said this year gadolinium is not harmful to healthy people. Still, the lawsuit claims, the FDA "has still not approved the most common gadolinium removal treatment, chelation, which patients like Gena must pay for out-of-pocket."

The Norrises are seeking damages for fraudulent misrepresentation, fraud by concealment, negligence, and loss of consortium. Here is the full lawsuit:

Gena and Chuck Norris v. M cKesson, et al. by FindLaw on Scribd