NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits

On March 13, 2024, a jury in Illinois awarded $60 million to the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Mead Johnson over cows-milk-based baby formula.

This is just one of hundreds of lawsuits against Abbot Laboratories and Mead Johnson. These lawsuits allege that Mead Johnson and Abbot did not provide adequate warning about the risk of premature infants developing a severe medical condition from cow-milk-based formula.

Research has linked this medical condition, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), to formulas like Similac and Enfamil that were made with cow milk. NEC is one of the leading causes of death in premature and preterm infants. It can cause severe intestinal inflammation or life-threatening infections.

If your preterm infant was diagnosed with NEC after being fed cows-milk-based formula in the hospital, contact Pfeifer, Morgan and Stesiak to discuss potential legal options. Abbot Laboratories or Mead Johnson may be liable for damages you and your child suffered.

Our defective product lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation through an NEC baby formula lawsuit. You can learn more by contacting our firm and setting up a free, no-obligation legal consultation.

There are no upfront fees with our services. Contact us today: (844) 678-1800.

Do I Have a Case Against Mead Johnson or Abbot Laboratories?

If your child was born prematurely and he or she was diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis after consuming formula with cow milk (Similac or Enfamil), there may be a case. However, you need to discuss this situation with an experienced lawyer.

We are investigating lawsuits on behalf of parents whose infants were fed the following products produced by Abbot Laboratories and Mead Johnson:

  • 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 Neuro Pro 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

We will need to gather more details about your situation to determine if you may have a case, including:

  • When your child consumed the cow-milk-based formula
  • If your child needed oxygen at birth
  • When your child was born and how many weeks he or she was premature
  • If your child was placed in NICU after being born
  • If your child needed to be resuscitated at birth

If we determine you may have a case, we can help you gather the documentation you need to seek compensation for your damages.

Contact our firm for more details and to schedule your free case review.

Zero upfront costs. Call Pfeifer, Morgan and Stesiak today: (844) 678-1800

What Parents Need To Know About Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)

Necrotizing Enterocolitis is a serious gastrointestinal problem that results in inflammation of the large and small intestines. NEC destroys tissue and could bore a hole in the intestinal wall if it continues to progress. An opening in the intestinal wall is very dangerous as it could allow bacteria to leak out into the bloodstream. This situation can result in a serious and potentially life-threatening infection, such as sepsis.

Doctors may need to surgically remove dead tissue, however, this type of surgery could cause other complications. Infants could develop short gut syndrome, which makes it harder for infants to absorb necessary nutrients from food.

Symptoms of NEC in infants include:

  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Abdominal distension
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Slow heart rate
  • Jaundice
  • Green fluid buildup in the abdominal wall
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Bradycardia (indicates a slowed heart rate)
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark, bloody stools
  • Difficulties with feeding
  • Swollen, red or tender belly
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)

What Is the Basis for an NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit?

There are multiple studies showing a link between premature infants with NEC and formulas that contain cow milk. Given this research, manufacturers of Similac and Enfamil had a legal obligation to warn parents and doctors about the risks.

Lawsuits that have been filed claim manufacturers should have known about the risks and properly explained how infants could have been injured.

What Is an NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit Worth?

This question is complex, as there are many factors to consider. Each case is unique and needs to be evaluated on its own.

If we determine you may be eligible to file a lawsuit, we are prepared to pursue compensation for all your damages, which may include:

  • Cost of treating NEC
  • Reimbursement for travel to and from the hospital
  • Lost wages if you needed to take time away from work to care for your infant
  • Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Wrongful death damages
  • And more

Lawsuits could provide anywhere from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to parents whose infants were diagnosed with NEC. The value of each case will depend on many factors that should be evaluated by an experienced lawyer.

Research Linking Cow Milk Formula to NEC

There are decades of research showing a link between NEC in premature infants and consumption of cow-milk-based formulas.

Here is some of the notable research on this issue:

  • A 1990 study of 900 preterm infants concluded that NEC is between six and 10 times more likely to develop in infants who are only fed formula. The risk is only three times higher for preterm infants who consume formula and breast milk. This study was published in The Lancet.
  • In 2010, the Journal of Pediatrics published an article that said infants who were fed breast milk, or formula that was fortified with human milk, had a 90 percent lower risk of developing NEC that babies who consumed cow-milk-based formula.
  • In 2011, the U.S. Surgeon General released a Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding of preterm infants. The document said premature infants who were not consuming breastmilk were at a 138 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with NEC.
  • The Expert Review of Clinical Immunology said in 2014 there is significant evidence that cow milk formula puts infants at higher risk of NEC than breast milk.
  • A Portuguese study from 2015 found there was a 50 percent reduction in NEC among babies who consumed breast milk instead of cow milk formula.
  • In 2016, Breastfeeding Medicine published a study of more than 1,500 infants. The study found there was a lower risk of NEC among infants who were fed breast milk.
  • A 2019 study of 1,900 preterm and premature babies revealed the risk of NEC was seven times higher among those fed cow-milk-based formulas.
  • A 2021 study published in Pediatrics and Child Health reported that breast milk significantly reduces the risk of NEC in premature infants.
  • The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics did a study in 2021 in which premature infants were exclusively given human breast milk. Researchers found a 77 percent lower risk of NEC in preterm and premature infants.

Have Mead Johnson or Abbot Laboratories Issued Recalls?

As of March 2024, these companies have not issued recalls of Enfamil or Similac baby formulas. They have also not added warning labels to their products.

Baby Formula Lawsuit Update

As of March 1, 2024, there were 405 actions pending in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Abbot Laboratories over baby formula being linked to necrotizing enterocolitis.

An MDL is a way to consolidate multiple lawsuits so they can be handled simultaneously in a U.S. District Court. This helps to speed up the pretrial and settlement process. This baby formula MDL was created in the spring of 2022, and since then it has continued to grow.

The first trial for a NEC baby formula lawsuit began on February 20, 2024, and concluded on March 13, 2024, with the jury awarding $60 million to the plaintiff. The lawsuit was filed against Mead Johnson, which was accused of failure to provide enough warning to parents about the higher risk of NEC in premature babies who were fed cow-milk-based formula.

The plaintiff in this case was a mother whose preterm child died from necrotizing enterocolitis after consuming cow-milk-based baby formula.

More lawsuits continue to be filed against Abbot Laboratories and Mead Johnson. If you think you may have a case, contact Pfeifer, Morgan and Stesiak today to discuss your potential next steps.

Call Pfeifer, Morgan and Stesiak to Discuss for Trusted Legal Help Today

If your infant suffered from NEC after drinking cow-milk-based baby formula, you should consider talking to an experienced lawyer. The manufacturers may be liable for your infant’s medical bills and other damages. There is limited time to act, so it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

If you hire our firm, there are no upfront fees. We do not get paid unless our clients receive compensation.

Call to schedule a free legal consultation. Phone: (844) 678-1800

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases