CofmanTownsley Files a Lawsuit Against the Manufacturers of Special Dye Used for MRI Scans

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MRI dye linked to highly toxic metal and potentially fatal skin disease.

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Patients and physicians should be able to have faith in the products healthcare companies place on the market.

The law firm of CofmanTownsley ( has announced that it has filed a complaint against Tyco Healthcare Group, LP and Mallinckrodt, Inc., a subsidiary of Tyco Healthcare Group. The complaint was filed on behalf of a plaintiff who alleges she was overexposed to the highly toxic metal gandolinium while being administered OptiMARK®, a dye used during MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and MRA (magnetic resonance angiography) scans. As a result, the plaintiff sustained serious and potentially life-threatening injuries. The suit was filed Dec. 14, 2007, in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, State of Missouri (Case No. 0722CC09411).

The complaint states that as a result of being administered OptiMARK® by her physician three times during October 2004 and once during December 2004, the plaintiff was also overexposed to gandolinium, which can be found in the dyes injected into some patients before MRI scans and all patients before MRA scans. In July 2007, the plaintiff was diagnosed with nephrogenic systemic fibrosis also known as nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NSF/NFD). Since the time of her diagnosis, her condition has resulted in bodily impairment, disfigurement, and scarring, as well as fibrosis and contractures in her extremities.

NSF/NFD only occurs in patients with kidney disease who undergo an MRI or MRA where a gadolinium-based dye is used. Its symptoms include the skin’s texture changing to a wood-like consistency or feeling like orange peel. Accompanying these symptoms are sensations of burning, itching, and severe sharp pains in specific areas.

The lawsuit also claims that Tyco Healthcare insufficiently tested OptiMARK® and disregarded the fact that OptiMARK® could cause debilitating and potentially lethal side effects. Furthermore, the suit states that Tyco Healthcare knew of the risk for dangerous side effects, yet withheld evidence from the Food and Drug Administration during OptiMARK®’s approval process.

“My client was given a product she thought was safe, when it may have actually caused her to suffer incurable, permanent, and potentially fatal injuries,” said Larry Townsley, cofounder and senior partner at CofmanTownsley. “Patients and physicians should be able to have faith in the products healthcare companies place on the market.”

The plaintiff asks that a jury fairly compensate for reimbursement of current and future medical expenses, lost future income, loss of earning capacity, out-of-pocket expenses, emotional distress, and other damages.

About CofmanTownsley
For more than 30 years, CofmanTownsley has provided people in the state of Missouri and the greater St. Louis area of Illinois with professional, successful personal injury representation. CofmanTownsley is dedicated to representing the rights of individuals who are injured by the negligent acts of others. At CofmanTownsley, each case is personally represented by one of the four partners—Stuart Cofman, Larry Townsley, David Nissenholtz, and Sheldon Weinstein, who together have more than 125 years combined experience in personal injury law. For more information, visit


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