Man blames drug company for injuries linked to MRIs

By Cara Bailey | Feb 8, 2008

WHEELING - A West Virginia man has filed a medical malpractice suit against a pharmaceutical company after he was injured after receiving contrast solution during several MRIs.

George Lipscomb, with his wife Ruth Ann Lipscomb, filed the suit in Ohio Circuit Court against Bayer Corporation and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals.

According to the suit, George Lipscomb received five MRIs from May 2, 2005 to May 29, 2007. The first three were done at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. The other two were performed at Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Md.

After the MRIs, Lipscomb claims he began to exhibit symptoms of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis, which is caused by the injection of contrast solution used for the medical procedure.

The symptoms include discoloration, thickening, tightening and swelling of the skin. The suit says symptoms can appear anywhere from two days to 18 months after the procedure.

According to the suit, fibrotic and edematous changes caused by NSF produce muscular weakness and inhibit flexion and extension of joints, resulting in contractures. NSF can also progress to the point where a person loses use of arms, legs, hands and feet.

The skin affected by NSF gets dark patches or plaques and progresses to a woody texture, which is accompanied by burning, itching and severe pain. It has also been known to scar the lungs, heart, liver and muscles and can be fatal.

Lipscomb claims he was suffering from chronic renal insufficiency at the time of the first MRI. He was later diagnosed with NSF on Sept. 25, 2007.

According to the suit, Lipscomb did not know of have reason to know that he had a condition that would be harmed by the contrast solution. As a result, he developed excruciating pain in his leg, hip and foot.

He also had tightening, swelling and stiffening of his skin, muscles and joints, has had difficulty walking and is in jeopardy of having his heart and lungs impaired.

Ruth Ann Lipscomb claims she has lost a substantial measure of her husband's consortium.

The Lipscombs claim Bayer's actions were irresponsible toward the safety and health of those receiving the contrast solution.

They seek compensatory and punitive damages.

Attorney Barry Hill is representing the Lipscombs.

Ohio Circuit Court case number 07-C-535

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