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Baby Formula Lawsuit

Premature babies have been diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) after being fed certain cow-milk based baby formulas. Parents of these infants are filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of baby formula for premature infants. If your premature baby has been diagnosed with NEC after being fed Similac or Enfamil, you may be eligible to file a baby formula lawsuit.

Why are people filing baby formula lawsuits?

Parents of premature infants diagnosed with NEC are filing infant formula lawsuits against the manufacturers of Similac and Enfamil baby formulas. NEC is a gastrointestinal condition that causes intestinal tissue to die. NEC can lead to serious abdominal and blood infections. In some extremely unfortunate cases, it may be fatal.

Parents of affected premature infants are filing lawsuits against infant formula manufacturers Mead Johnson (Mead) and Abbott Laboratories (Abbott). Mead manufactures Enfamil, and Abbott is responsible for Similac. These lawsuits state that Mead and Abbott should have warned consumers about the increased risk of NEC when their cow-milk based formula is fed to premature infants.

Our medical attorneys are reviewing these allegations. If your child has been affected by NEC after consuming formula products, we may be able to help.

Brands involved in baby formula NEC lawsuits

Research indicated that cow-milk based baby formulas are more likely to lead to NEC in premature babies. Specific formula products that may be a concern for premature babies include:

Abbott Products

Mead Johnson Products

  • 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
  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Special Care 20
  • Similac Special Care 24
  • Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
  • Similac Special Care 30
  • Enfacare Powder
  • Enfamil 24 and DHA & ARA Supplement OnlySimilac Special Care
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Liquid High Protein
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Enfamil Milk Fortifier Liquid Standard Protein
  • Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare
  • Enfamil Premature

If you use these or other bovine formulas to feed your premature infant, you may wish to speak with your doctor.

What is NEC?

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) inflames gastrointestinal tissue. This causes the tissue to die, which can lead to perforations or tears in the intestinal wall. About 90% of the babies who get NEC are premature or have low birth weights. 

Weakened intestinal tissue makes the infants more susceptible to life-threatening infections as it allows bacteria to leak into the bloodstream and body. While any newborn can develop NEC, babies born prematurely develop it more often. NEC affects 1 in 1,000 preemies and only 1 in 10,000 full-term infants.

Symptoms of NEC 

Symptoms of the disease may present differently depending on the infant. Some infants may only experience mild cases and associated symptoms. Other infants have more serious symptoms. 

NEC symptoms include:

  • Abdominal bloating, swelling or pain
  • Changes in basic bodily functions, such as blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and breathing
  • Diarrhea with bloody stool
  • Difficulty feeding and weight loss
  • Green or yellow-colored vomit
  • Lethargy

If your baby or a baby you care for is exhibiting these symptoms immediately seek a doctor’s help.

Doctors and researchers do not yet fully understand what causes NEC. However, according to the Stanford Children’s Hospital, it is more likely to develop in babies who are not fed human breast milk. 

If your baby has developed NEC after being fed Enfamil or Similac baby formulas, you may have a case. Baby formula lawyers can help you explore a NEC lawsuit.

Contact a baby formula lawyer

You may have a claim if your premature baby developed NEC after consuming a cow milk-based formula, or if your full-term baby became sick after consuming a recalled product made by Mead Johnson or Abbott Laboratories. Contact medical attorneys Fidelma Fitzpatrick or Carmen Scott by email or call 1.800.768.4026 for more information.

Abbott baby formula recall

Abbott has had other issues with its baby formula products. In February 2022, Abbott issued a voluntary recall of its Similac, Similac PM 60/40, Alimentum and EleCare baby formula products. The recall was issued after multiple complaints of Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport bacterial infections, gastrointestinal ailments and at least one death.

Parents can locate the lot number printed on their baby formula container to determine whether it was included in the recall. Abbott recalled Similac, Alimentum and EleCare powder formulas with the following lot codes and expiration dates:

  • Lot codes with the first two digits 22 through 37
  • Lot codes containing K8, SH or Z2
  • Expiration dates of April 1, 2022 (4-1-22) or later

Later in February 2022, Abbott also recalled the following Similac PM 60/40 products:

  • Cans containing lot code 27032K80
  • Cases containing lot code 27032K800

The bacteria reported in these Abbott products can cause serious infections. The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) followed up both of Abbott’s voluntary recalls with formal recalls of its own.

Symptoms of Cronobacter infections in infants

Symptoms of Salmonella infections

  • Excessive crying 
  • Fever 
  • Poor feeding 
  • Meningitis 
  • Seizures 
  • Very low energy
  • Diarrhea with bloody stool 
  • Fever 
  • Headache 
  • Nausea 
  • Stomach cramps 
  • Vomiting

If you or another caregiver observe these symptoms in your baby, take the baby to a healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Baby formula lawsuit updates

Parents are filing lawsuits against baby formula makers Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories for failing to warn them about the risk of NEC when premature babies are fed their cow-milk based formulas. 

These lawsuits include multiple products across the Enfamil (by Mead Johnson) and Similac (by Abbott) brands. Parents are seeking compensation for their emotional distress, the harms caused to their infants and financial losses associated with NEC. 

If you have a premature infant who was diagnosed with NEC after being fed Similac or Enfamil products, you may be eligible to file a baby formula lawsuit.

Most of these lawsuits are collected in a multidistrict litigation docket (MDL) in the Northern District of Illinois. This does not mean parents have to live in Illinois to file a lawsuit. MDLs organize multiple lawsuits against the same defendant into one court. This can help establish common facts and expedite the process. The NEC baby formula lawsuits are a part of MDL 3026 In re: Abbott Laboratories, et al., Preterm Infant Nutrition Products Liability Litigation. As of October 2023, there were 332 total actions and 275 pending actions in the docket. Many other cases are filed in similar consolidations in various state courts, including Illinois and California.

There is also a separate baby formula class action lawsuit for issues related to Abbott’s recall. However, this is not connected to the NEC baby formula lawsuits. 

Our law firm may be able to help you file a Similac or Enfamil lawsuit. We have experience helping plaintiffs fight for justice against the manufacturers of defective products.

Our experience fighting for families and children

Motley Rice attorneys have worked for decades to seek justice for children and families living with the lifelong effects of toxic and dangerous exposures. 

The firm’s additional experience includes:

  • Representing parents whose children have birth defects allegedly caused by medical drugs, including Effexor, Zofran and Zoloft
  • Negotiating a $305 million settlement to fund lead paint cleanup and abatement efforts in 10 California communities. Lead exposure greatly impacts children.
  • Investigating product liability claims, including harms caused by consumer goods like hair relaxers
  • Negotiating a $600 million settlement for residents of Flint, Michigan, that resolved legal claims against the state for allegedly causing the contamination of Flint’s water supply with lead and other harmful substances

Do not stop taking a prescribed medication without first consulting with your doctor. Discontinuing a prescribed medication without your doctor's advice can result in injury or death.

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