The first bellwether trial case in the gadolinium-based contrast agent MDL is scheduled to begin on the 24th of this month. Gadolinium-based contrast agents are marketed by Bayer (Magnevist), Tyco/Mallinckrodt (OptiMark), GE (Omniscan), and Bracco (Multihance & Prohance). The gadolinium is used to enhance the contrast of MRIs and MRAs making it easier for radiologists to read the results of those studies.
In people with normal renal function, gadolinium appears to be easily cleared by the kidneys. In people with compromised or diminished kidney function, the kidneys are unable to clear the gadolinium from the body. In some, the body reacts to the toxic gadolinium, leading to nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). As you may already know, NSF typically involves swelling and tightening of the skin, usually at the extremities. In many cases, skin thickening makes movement difficult, resulting in muscle contractures. Many individuals with NSF are unable to walk or fully extend their joints. Additionally, individuals with NSF have reddened or darkened patches, papules, or plaques on their skin. The skin often feels woody or bark-like. Individuals typically experience burning and itching and severe/sharp pains. Autopsies of individuals with NSF have revealed fibrosis and disease advancement in organs other than the skin.
The “bellwether” trial process, named after the lead, bell-wearing sheep in a flock, allows the judge and the parties to test the merits of a case by trying a representative sample of cases, the results of which can be used as a basis for resolving numerous similar claims. In addition to the May 24, 2010, bellwether trial, a second bellwether trial has been scheduled for September 20, 2010.
Judge Dan Polster is presiding over the bellwether trials. On February 28, 2008, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that all gadolinium-based contrast agent cases then or thereafter pending in the federal court system be transferred to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and assigned to the Honorable Dan A. Polster, for coordinated and consolidated pretrial proceedings. If you need more information on this subject, contact Roger Smith at 800-898-2034 or by email at Roger.Smith@beasleyallen.com.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.