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$5 Million Verdict for Ohio Man Injured by MRI Contrast Agent

On March 22, 2013, a federal jury in Cleveland awarded our client $5 million after agreeing that he had suffered life-changing injuries from a single dose of GE Healthcare’s intravenous body-scan contrast agent.

Mr. Decker, of Mount Blanchard, Ohio, alleged that, as a result of the agent, he acquired nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF)–a debilitating, progressive disease that has rendered him immobile and dependent on 24-hour care. A retired 30-year employee of a tire company, Mr. Decker is now cared for by his wife.

Contrast agents are used to make internal organs more visible to physicians during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The gadolinium-based MRI contrast agent taken by Mr. Decker is marketed under the trade name Omniscan. GE witnesses and experts testified that the company spent millions of dollars in the past five years funding studies to find potential hypotheses as to the cause of NSF, but had spent nothing to research a cure.

Ashcraft & Gerel’s Christopher V. Tisi, Michelle Parfitt and Brianne Rideout partnered with attorneys from Cleveland-based Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP, on the case. The verdict, which came after an intense 17-day trial, was the first in the nation involving NSF. Hundreds of earlier injury claims have been settled prior to trial or final verdict, according to court records.

Ashcraft & Gerel has represented a number of patients who, like Mr. Decker, were needlessly injured as the result of inappropriate products making their way onto the market. Read more about our work with Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices.

“We applaud Paul and Karen Decker’s courage in helping expose the public-safety risks GE took,” Mr. Tisi said. “Like the Deckers, we are pleased that the jury demanded GE take responsibility for the injuries their actions caused. We hope a successful resolution of this case will provide the help the Deckers need.”