CLEVELAND The mother of a 24-year-old Norwalk man who died in August 2004, shortly after receiving his second injection of the drug Magnevist, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court here against Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals of Wayne, N.J., an arm of Bayer AG of Berlin, Germany. She is claiming that the drug a contrast agent containing the heavy metal gadolinium caused her son's death.
Beverly Rockwell, who is seeking compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of the estate of her son, Trevor A. Drake, maintains he was injected at the Cleveland Clinic with Magnevist prior to his magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for end-stage kidney disease. The purpose of the drug is to help diagnosticians to visualize internal organs and blood vessels.
Filed by the Cleveland litigation law firm of Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber, the suit claims that Magnevist caused a skin and joint disease known as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis or nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NSF/NFD), which was fatal to Drake, an apprentice carpenter.
Berlex Laboratories Inc. in Montville, N.J., the U.S. arm of Schering AG, also headquartered in Berlin, originally manufactured Magnevist. Bayer bought Schering in 2006 and continues to manufacture Magnevist.
The case is believed to be the first against Bayer stemming from the effects of Magnevist. The Spangenberg firm in March filed a suit here in federal court on behalf of a 71-year-old suburban Cleveland man who is suffering from NSF/NFD.
At University Hospitals in 2006 prior to kidney dialysis, he was injected with a similar drug, Optimark, a product of Tyco Healthcare Group. His NSF/NFD has since caused him serious debilitating joint injuries, and he requires physical therapy to walk.
Bayer declined comment to the Associated Press.