Baby Formula NEC Lawsuit

Baby Formula NEC Lawsuit

Many parents turn to baby formula as a way to provide extra nourishment to premature and low-weight babies. Some parents fully rely on formula if the mother has had trouble nursing and is not able to provide their child with adequate breast milk. When parents turn to baby formula, they deserve access to formula that is guaranteed to be safe for their newborns.

Unfortunately, some formulas have recently been shown to be unsafe for consumption. High calorie, bovine milk-based baby formula products sold by Similac and Enfamil have been linked to necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, a deadly illness that can cause inflammation and necrosis (tissue death) in the intestines.

Similac is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, while Mead Johnson & Company manufactures Enfamil. Neither manufacturer disclosed the possible risks associated with consuming their products on the product labels.

The baby formula NEC lawsuits allege that newborns who consumed Enfamil and Similac baby formula products later developed NEC and other gastrointestinal conditions, including gut rot and dead bowel. The lawsuits claim that the manufacturers of Similac and Enfamil failed to warn parents of the dangers their cow’s milk-based products posed to newborns.

If you purchased Similac or Enfamil baby formula products for your newborn and your newborn later developed NEC or other gastrointestinal issues, then you could qualify for a baby formula NEC lawsuit and be entitled to recover compensation for financial and non-financial damages that resulted from your infant’s condition.

The experienced baby formula lawsuit attorneys at Mass Tort Alliance have the knowledge and resources to take on negligent corporations who produce hazardous products. Our compassionate lawyers will work tirelessly to help you seek justice and the compensation you and your family need and deserve. Contact us today to determine your eligibility.

Which Products Are Involved In the Baby Formula NEC Lawsuit?

Products manufactured by Abbott Laboratories (Similac) and by Mead Johnson & Company (Enfamil) are both alleged to increase premature and low-weight newborns’ risk of developing NEC and other gastrointestinal conditions. The products include:

Similac Products:

  • Similac
  • Similac Special Care
  • Similac Special Care 20
  • Similac Special Care 24
  • Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
  • Similac Special Care 30
  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Alimentum
  • Similac Alimentum Expert Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier

Enfamil Products:

  • Enfamil
  • Enfacare Powder
  • Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare
  • Enfamil 24 and DHA & ARA Supplement
  • Enfamil Premature 20 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal/fl oz HP
  • Enfamil Premature 30 Cal
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Liquid High Protein
  • Enfamil Milk Fortifier Liquid Standard Protein

What Is NEC?

Necrotizing enterocolitis, commonly known as NEC, is a gastrointestinal condition that predominantly affects newborn babies who were born prematurely. NEC causes inflammation in the intestinal tissue, which causes it to die. Inflammation caused by NEC can also cause perforations, or holes, to develop in the intestinal tract, allowing bacteria to leak into the abdominal cavity. NEC is the most common type of gastrointestinal condition among premature newborns, affecting about 1 in every 2,000-4,000 newborns.

NEC predominantly occurs in infants who weigh less than 4.5 pounds at birth. These infants make up the vast majority of NEC cases. NEC typically develops very quickly, within a couple of weeks of a baby’s birth. Infants are so vulnerable to developing NEC because the intestines and bowels in newborns are underdeveloped at the start of life.

Symptoms of NEC in newborns include:

  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Alterations in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Fluctuations in body temperature
  • Changes in breathing patterns
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stools
  • Green or yellow vomit
  • Refusal to eat
  • Lethargy
  • Inability to gain weight

NEC can also cause other health conditions to develop, including:

  • Sepsis
  • Peritonitis
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Intestinal strictures
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Scarring in the intestinal tract
  • Malabsorption in the intestines

Some cases of NEC can be treated with medication, but serious cases of NEC are usually treated with surgery. Surgery can be especially dangerous for premature babies, given the underdeveloped nature of their bodies. Surgical procedures can easily result in permanent injuries to the newborn, and some newborns ultimately need a bowel transplant after losing a significant amount of intestinal tract in order to stay alive.

Dangers of Baby Formula/Milk Fortifiers

Multiple studies, including one published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, have demonstrated that baby formulas containing bovine milk (cow’s milk) cause higher incidences of NEC in premature and low-weight newborns than human breast milk does. While some infants who exclusively consume human breast milk do develop NEC, infants who consume cow’s milk-based products develop NEC more frequently.

There are a variety of theories about just how formula may cause NEC and other gastrointestinal issues in premature or low-weight infants. Some experts hypothesize that it could have something to do with the physical makeup of the formula, while others believe it has more to do with the lack of development of the mucous membranes in the intestinal tract.

Unfortunately, premature and low-weight newborns have suffered tremendously and even died after consuming bovine milk-based formula, and the risks of using formula were never disclosed to parents of premature infants. This is why parents of infants who have suffered illness and injury after ingesting bovine milk-based formula have started to file lawsuits against manufacturers like Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson & Company, seeking justice and compensation for the harm these products have caused their babies.

Do I Qualify For A Baby Formula NEC Lawsuit?

You may qualify to file a baby formula NEC lawsuit if you fit the following criteria:

  • Your child was born prematurely
  • The child’s mother did not provide breast milk
  • Your child consumed formula or milk fortifier prior to their diagnosis
  • Your child has been diagnosed with NEC, gut rot, or dead bowel

Compensation for Baby Formula NEC Lawsuits

If your premature newborn was given Similac or Enfamil formula and later developed symptoms of NEC, gut rot, dead bowel, or other gastrointestinal issues, you could be entitled to recover compensation for financial and non-financial losses resulting from your infant’s ingestion of the dangerous baby formula. The amount of compensation that you may be entitled to collect will vary based on the circumstances of your case, such as the severity of your child’s health condition and the resulting physical, emotional, and financial damages.

At Mass Tort Alliance, our compassionate lawyers will conduct a comprehensive investigation into your case and help you identify the various types of damages that you may be allowed to recover. We will work tirelessly to craft a winning legal strategy to help you obtain the best possible outcome for your case.

Some of the most common types of damages that parents are able to recover compensation for include:

Economic Damages:

  • Medical bills, surgeries, procedures, treatments, medications, tests, and other costs related to your infant’s illness and recovery
  • Lost income, if you were unable to work due to your newborn’s condition
  • Other financial damages related to your newborn’s illness

Non-economic Damages:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Mental trauma
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are not as commonly awarded as other types of damages, but it is possible that a judge could deem punitive damages appropriate in your case. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant, in this case, the baby formula manufacturer, for excessively careless behavior and gross negligence. The makers of Similac and Enfamil failed to warn consumers that their products were potentially unsafe for infants to consume, and a judge could order them to pay punitive damages as a result of the harm their failure to disclose that information has caused.


Contact Us Today

If your premature or low-weight newborn ingested Similac or Enfamil baby formula and was later diagnosed with NEC or another gastrointestinal health condition, contact the attorneys at Mass Tort Alliance today for a free initial consultation. We will review the particulars of your case, determine whether or not you qualify for a baby formula NEC lawsuit, and advise you of your legal options going forward. At Mass Tort Alliance, our compassionate lawyers have the knowledge and resources to go up against major corporations that failed to warn consumers about the dangers of their products. This is particularly unconscionable given that the product was intended for newborn infants in their first weeks of life. Although no amount of money can make up for the physical and emotional toll of watching your newborn suffer from NEC, pursuing the compensation you are owed can help you recover financially from what can be a very costly ordeal. Fill out our contact form to discuss your case and ascertain your best legal recourse. Contact us for a consultation today.