“Walker, Texas Ranger” star Chuck Norris is taking on the manufactures of the chemicals used in MRI imaging scans. He alleges those chemicals poisoned his wife.
The 77-year-old action star filed the lawsuit on Wednesday in the San Francisco Superior Court, reported People Magazine. In the suit, he says the chemicals left his wife, Gena Norris, “weak, tired, with a burning sensation and ‘debilitating bouts of pain.’”
Those chemicals included gadolinium, which People explains is “a paramagnetic metal ion found in so-called contrast agents used to improve the clarity of her MRIs.”
In the suit, Chuck seeks more than $10 million in damages. He says that amount will cover the millions of dollars he’s already spent on treatment for Gena.
However, the Radiological Society of North America is denying that there is any wrongdoing. They issued a statement this September explaining the drug and it’s role.
“Gadolinium-based contrast agents have been used for diagnosis and treatment guidance in more than 100 million patients worldwide over the past 25 years” and provide “crucial, life-saving medical data,” said the statement.
The RSNA continued, “These agents enhance the quality of MRI images by altering the magnetic properties of nearby water molecules in the body…By improving the visibility of specific organs, blood vessels or tissues, contrast agents help physicians diagnose and treat a wide variety of medical conditions” such as cancer, infections, or bleeding.”
In 2012, doctors injected Gena with gadolinium for three MRI scans over an eight-day period. Gena said that she asked the medical staff if gadolinium was safe and “they said absolutely.”
“I started to feel the effects immediately, not connecting anything,” she said. “After the third scan, I was definitely noticing that something was wrong. it started out with this intense burning inside my body that I can’t describe like someone has poured acid on your tissues.”
In the following six weeks, Gena Norris went to the ER six times and was hospitalized three times. She added, “With each new visit, the burning was spreading,” Gena said.
She also shared that the downturn in her health was a drastic shift.
“I am a healthy woman—I’m the lady on the ‘Total Gym’ infomercials next to him. I’ve been fit all my life. So to have anything happen to me like this it was a nightmare,” she added. “They poisoned the wrong lady, when they poisoned me.”
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in a report published in May, said Gadolinium-based contrast agents are approved, and they have “not identified adverse health effects from gadolinium” in the brain or other body tissues. The European Medicines Agency reached the same conclusion in July.
Still, both the FDA and the European Medicines Agency recommend health care professionals limit the use of the gadolinium-based contrast agents. They also said doctors should assess the necessity of repetitive MRIs.
Likewise, Norris’s lawsuit acknowledged that studies have not found an official link between gadolinium and the symptoms Gena has been experiencing.
“[The lawsuit] alleges that’s only because doctors were previously unaware of any association (aside for those with prior kidney problems) and that blood and urine testing for gadolinium only recently became available,” said People.
“I am broken,” Gena explained to the Business Times. “I don’t blame the doctors at all, because (companies) have been keeping things hidden in the shadows … I never wanted litigation. But it’s wrong. It’s just wrong.”
What do you think about Chuck Norris’ suit? Let us know in the comments. In other news, Michael Jackson's son was just rushed to the hospital.