Florida Toxic Premature Baby Formula NEC Lawsuit
Parents in the US are currently suing the manufacturers of Similac and Enfamil, alleging that these infant formulas have caused the illness or death of their premature babies and that the manufacturers failed to warn consumers about the formulas’ toxic quality. The lawsuits are centered on a bowel infection called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which could develop in formula-fed premature infants and become a life-threatening condition.
Did your child develop necrotizing enterocolitis after taking formula? You need to know what legal steps you can take as a parent. Given the severe – if not fatal – consequences of this disease, parents of victims may be able to claim compensation for their financial and emotional distress.
If you’re in South Florida, reach out to Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney. The DeBerard firm has long been a Treasure Coast mainstay, trusted by the community for over 40 years now. Our baby formula claims attorney can provide sound legal advice and aggressively represent you against manufacturers, distributors, or their insurance companies. Consult with us for free. Call at 800-299-8878 today.
What is NEC? Does Baby Formula Cause It? The Science Behind The Lawsuits
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious illness where a newborn’s large intestine or colon gets inflamed with too much bacteria. Symptoms include bloated belly, sluggishness, slow heart rate, bloody bowel movements, and greenish fluid in the baby’s stomach. If the infection progresses, the infant may suffer lifelong complications such as inability to absorb nutrients, getting scars or a hole in the intestine, and severe body-wide infection (sepsis). Some cases quickly become fatal.
While the exact cause of NEC is unknown, the medical community acknowledges that infants, especially premature ones, are at higher risk of NEC if they are formula-fed. In recent years, a growing body of research puts a red flag particularly on bovine (cow milk-based) formulas.
Enfamil and Similac are two well-known brands of cow milk-based infant formulas. As of November 23, 2022, the respective manufacturers of these brands – Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories – have not recalled the products in relation to NEC.
What is the Case Against Similac and Enfamil? What are My Legal Options?
Infant Formula Products Liability
The lawsuits against Abbott Labs and Mead Johnson are based on the legal concept of products liability. Under this concept, manufacturers are legally responsible for the safety of their products, to a reasonable extent. If a product has a safety risk that the manufacturer should reasonably know about, they need to either:
- Take the product off the market, or
- Adequately warn consumers about the safety risk.
If the company fails this responsibility, they could be liable for consumer injuries or deaths directly resulting from the unsafe product.
In the Similac and Enfamil lawsuits, parents allege that these products have no warning labels about possible NEC. They also assert that Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson knew or should have known the NEC dangers from cow milk-based formulas yet these companies have been marketing their products as safe for premature infants.
Similac and Enfamil Products in the Lawsuits
Dozens of formula brands from Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson are named in the NEC lawsuits. They include:
- Similac Special Care
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier
- Similac NeoSure
- Similac Alimentum
- Similac Alimentum Expert Care
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier Powder
- Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
- Similac Special Care 20
- Similac Special Care 24
- Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder
- Similac Special Care 30
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein Concentrated Liquid
- Enfacare Powder
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Liquid High Protein
- Enfamil Milk Fortifier Liquid Standard Protein
- Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare
- Enfamil Premature 20 Cal
- Enfamil Premature 24 Cal
- Enfamil Premature 24 Cal/fl oz HP
- Enfamil Premature 30 Cal
- Enfamil 24 and DHA & ARA Supplement.
How Much Can Plaintiffs Get in a Baby Formula Claim?
As the infant formula NEC lawsuits are still in the early stages, no one can be certain yet how much the payout could be. What we know is that many products liability and medical negligence cases in the past have resulted in substantial compensation amounts. One case we handled at the DeBerard law firm centered on the death of a baby due to medical negligence, and it resulted in a $2.6 million award for the family.
Necrotizing enterocolitis often results in tragic infant fatalities, and among babies who survive, the long-term complications will likely be costly and painful. Because of this, families of these babies deserve every penny of compensation that the law entitles them. Compensation may cover the following and more:
- Past, present, and future medical costs related to the illness
- Parent’s lost income from missed work
- Baby’s pain and suffering
- Long-term or lifetime expenses related to the illness (such as medical equipment)
- Wrongful death damages (such as lost companionship).
Though compensation is available under the law, claiming it can be extremely challenging when faced with manufacturing giants. Already, Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories have disputed the claims that their formulas cause NEC, arguing that gastrointestinal diseases can occur naturally even among breastfed babies. We can expect these companies to mount strong legal defenses which will be a great hurdle for claiming families.
If you’re considering an NEC claim against an infant formula brand, get a skilled attorney on your side. The personal injury and wrongful death lawyer at Philip DeBerard has consistently proven tenacious against companies whose recklessness caused harm to Floridians. Give us a call and see what we can do for you in your potential infant formula claim.
Do You Have a Claim Against a Baby Formula Brand?
Does your situation qualify for an Enfamil or Similac lawsuit? Let’s take a look at some circumstances included in NEC lawsuits:
- The infant is/was premature (born before the 37th week of pregnancy).
- The infant was born with a low birth weight (under 5.5 pounds).
- The premature infant received cow milk-based formula at the hospital. (If you are unsure what the hospital fed your baby, we at the DeBerard office can help you find out.)
- The premature infant was diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis after the formula feeding.
To determine whether you have a legal claim against Enfamil, Similac, or any other formula brand, let a knowledgeable attorney assess your case. At Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, we’ll thoroughly examine every angle of your circumstances to maximize your potential pathways to compensation. Take advantage of our free, no-obligation consultation.
Contact Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney of South Florida
Philip DeBerard has recently been voted the Best Personal Injury Lawyer on the Treasure Coast by TCPalm. He has earned the trust of South Florida individuals and families due to his skilled representation and sincere care for each client he works with. His diligent legal service has resulted in over $150+ million worth of settlements and verdicts in favor of his clients.
You risk nothing by approaching Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney. Your consultation is free, and we won’t charge you any lawyer fees unless and until we obtain an amount for you.
Talk to us by phone or schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Stuart, Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach, Okeechobee, Vero Beach, and Palm Beach Gardens. Call 1-800-299-8878 today for a free consultation.
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