Why are Chuck and Gena Norris Suing 11 Drug Companies?

Action star Chuck Norris, along with his wife Gena, have filed a lawsuit against 11 drug companies. The Norris’ suit alleges that his wife was poisoned by gadolinium after receiving MRIs in 2012. Norris has been one of the most outspoken opponents of Gadolinium manufacturers. The suit alleges that the companies failed to warn Gena or healthcare providers of the risks associated with gadolinium. The couple is seeking $10 million for Gena’s condition.

Gadolinium is the substance used to aid in MRI readings. However, patients who receive the drug in a linear form later report symptoms like headaches, bone and joint pain, and clouded mental activity. The condition has been named Gadolinium Deposition Disease (GDD). It can occur within hours or weeks after the initial injection.

How Was Gena Norris Exposed to Gadolinium?

In 2012, Gena was injected with gadolinium during three MRIs. The intent of the MRIs was to monitor Gena’s rheumatoid arthritis. However, shortly after the injections, Gena began feeling intense, burning pain shoot throughout her body. In addition, she experienced shaking, numbness, tingling, fatigue, cognitive deficits, kidney damage and trouble breathing. Gena was an active, healthy woman before the injection. After the injection, she was hospitalized multiple times with deteriorating health.

Following several trips to the hospital and visits with a urologist, Gena took a leap of faith and made a trip to the TEDA International Cardiovascular Hospital in Tianjin, China. It was there that Gena learned her gadolinium levels were drastically high and her kidneys were damaged.

Gena currently undergoes regular stem cell therapy to deal with the lasting effects of gadolinium.

Who is at risk for Gadolinium Deposition Disease?

Around 80 million MRIs are performed every year, thus exposing millions of people to gadolinium. In about one-third of MRIs, gadolinium-based contrast agents are used. Further, MRIs are considered the gold standard test for:

For years, the medical community was led to believe that only people with reduced kidney function were at risk for adverse gadolinium effects. However, as early as 2004 studies suggested gadolinium retention in the bodies of patients with normal kidney function.

One of the more disturbing aspects of GDD is that is a progressive condition; meaning the condition worsens over time. There is no known cure and the only cause for the condition is gadolinium retention in the body from MRI contrast dyes.

How Does Gadolinium Buildup in the Body?

As early as 1989, doctors began noticing a build-up of gadolinium in the brain lesions of some patients. This raised concern among doctors who know the substance to be a highly, toxic heavy metal. Over the last three decades, studies have shown a correlation in gadolinium retention when the substance is used in linear compounds.

Because gadolinium is toxic, the agent is coated—or linked—to another chemical to protect the patient from its toxic effects when injected for MRIs. Gadolinium compounds come in two forms:

  1. Linear: ineffectively covers gadolinium, thus exposing patients to the element’s toxicity.
  2. Spherical (Macrocyclic): An improved gadolinium-based contrast agent that more effectively covers gadolinium.

Gena Norris received an injection of the linear MultiHance as part of a series of injections she received over an eight-day period of MRIs. Gena was rushed to the hospital three days later with the symptoms of GDD. However, the long held belief has been that with normal functioning kidneys, the bulk of gadolinium is expelled from the body through urine and feces within two hours. And the rest of the substance is expelled over the next few days—within 96 hours. However, much like Gena’s case, studies have shown that some forms of GBCAs persist in the body’s organs, such as the brain, skin and bones, for months to years after receiving the drug.


For many years, Gadolinium Deposition Disease has been largely ignored by the medical community and scientists. Patients’ symptoms were often brushed off as being overdramatized or nonexistent. Since the filing of the suit, the Norrises have continued to use their platform to speak up about the risks of gadolinium. Thanks to the Norrises, the effects of gadolinium have become a topic of discussion. For patients who are living with the effects of gadolinium, The Carlson Law Firm can help you find a solution. We believe in holding drug manufacturers accountable for their actions. Additionally, they have a responsibility to take steps to warn patients of the risks associated with their products. Instead, these companies often put profit over people.

For years, the makers of gadolinium-based contrast agents may have been aware of the risks associated with the MRI drug. However, the continuously failed to warn the public. As a result, people are suffering from rare, incurable conditions. If you or anyone you know has unexplained symptoms after an MRI, contact a Gadolinium lawyer right away. The Carlson Law Firm can help you get the medical assistance you need to relieve your persistent symptoms.

Contact our firm to schedule a free consultation with a Gadolinium lawyer.


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