Babies born prematurely with low birth weights and even healthy newborns can be susceptible to a serious and potentially fatal digestive condition called Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). However, it’s the premature newborns that makeup almost 80% of all NEC cases.
The parents of premature infants are filing lawsuits against baby formula makers Similac and Enfamil. These lawsuits claim the manufacturers didn’t adequately warn consumers cow’s milk-based formulas could lead to serious gastrointestinal problems, such as NEC, in premature infants and they could even lead to death.
What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis?
Necrotizing Enterocolitis is a serious disease that primarily affects the intestines of premature infants. It typically happens within the first two weeks of life in babies who are fed baby formula instead of breast milk.
With this condition, bacteria invade the baby’s intestine wall and inflammation sets in. This can create a crack or gap that allows harmful germs to leak into the abdomen. If not diagnosed early and treated, NEC can lead to serious infection and may be fatal in as many as 50% of cases.
As far back as 1990, a study revealed that NEC was up to 10 times more common in premature babies given formula. Since then, many more studies have linked cow’s milk-based formula to a higher risk of NEC in premature infants, according to these baby formula lawsuits.
Necrotizing Enterocolitis Signs & Symptoms:
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Diarrhea with bloody stool
- Green or yellow vomit with bile
- Changes in heart rate or blood pressure
- Changes in body temperature or breathing
- Refusal to eat
- Lack of weight gain or poor feeding
- Low Oxygen levels
Necrotizing Enterocolitis Injuries:
- Weight gain issues
- Gastrointestinal or bowel issues
- Neurological conditions
Necrotizing Enterocolitis Can Lead To:
- Abdominal infection called peritonitis
- Intestinal stricture
- Bowel adhesion
- Short bowel syndrome
Toxic Baby Formula NEC Lawsuits
Parents are suing Enfamil manufacturer Mead Johnson and Similac manufacturer Abbott Laboratories because they either knew or should have known their baby formula products could cause Necrotizing Enterocolitis in premature infants. Manufacturers failed to warn parents and medical providers about the risk.
Have Enfamil and Similac Formulas Been Recalled?
Enfamil and Similac have not been recalled for causing NEC. But there have been isolated store recalls for product tampering and a February 2022 recall for potential bacterial infection.
In the tampering incident, a few mothers reported their Enfamil products contained flour instead of formula. In another incident, a few babies got sick, and some died after drinking Enfamil that reportedly gave them bacterial infections. The FDA tested the formula and declared it safe at that time.
In February 2022, Abbott Nutrition recalled certain lots of Similac manufactured at its Sturgis, Michigan facility after four babies suffered infections and one baby became infected with Salmonella Newport. Two of the babies died, and the FDA and Abbott are still investigating.
Who Qualifies to File a Baby Formula Lawsuit?
Your baby may have been fed Similac or Enfamil while in the hospital. If you are unsure, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you find out. Make sure you provide the name of the hospital and the hospital’s location during your free consultation.
After your baby was discharged from the hospital, you may have fed them a Similac or Enfamil baby formula product. If so, lawyers encourage parents to keep any receipts, proof of purchase, packaging or boxes from the formula for evidence.
Toxic Baby Formula Lawsuit Attorney
Having a premature baby is complicated enough, but when they’re fed a potentially dangerous formula, those complications become amplified. That’s why at Bart Durham Injury Law we’re here to take care of your family and get justice for what your baby has experienced.