March 25, 2013 -- An Ohio man and his wife were awarded $5 million on March 22 after an eight-person federal jury in Cleveland agreed that he was severely injured after receiving a dose of GE Healthcare's Omniscan MRI contrast agent.
After a 17-day trial, the jury in Judge Dan Aaron Polster's court awarded Paul Decker and his wife Karen $5 million after concurring that the contrast agent caused nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) and rendered Paul Decker immobile and dependent on 24-hour care. Decker, a retired 30-year employee of a tire company, is now cared for by his wife.
According to Decker's lawyers, the verdict concluded the first trial in the U.S. of an NSF lawsuit. Hundreds of other injury claims were settled, according to court records, but the outcomes are confidential.
In a prepared statement, GE said that it was "disappointed in the jury's decision," adding that the company plans to "appeal the verdict on several grounds."
"We are pleased, however, that the jury found that Omniscan is not defective," the statement continued. "The jury found in GE's favor on two counts -- Omniscan was properly designed; and the company's representations about the product's safety was appropriate."
Omniscan has been used for more than 17 years in more than 47 million doses, GE also noted.