In recent months, infants across the country have been falling ill with bacterial infections allegedly resulting from contaminated infant formula. Major formula brands, including Similac and Enfamil, were recalled after a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation linked the formulas to infant illnesses and, in some cases, death.
One Florida mother told POLITICO that her four-month-old baby began getting sick after switching to formula feeding. This infant was in and out of the hospital before her condition got worse and doctors told her mother that she would not make it. When the four-month-old awoke from a nine day coma, doctors found she had suffered severe neurological damage and was now deaf and blind.
A New Jersey mother’s 7-month-old baby faced a similar illness in January 2022. The mother awoke in the middle of the night to find that her baby had been vomiting all over himself in his crib. When his condition worsened, he was brought to the hospital where doctors concluded he was suffering from a virus. When the rest of the family didn’t catch the virus, his mother knew something was wrong. Weeks later, when the recall of her baby’s formula was issued, her fears were confirmed.
Parents all over the country have been living in fear with their babies sick and in pain with the source unknown. While some families are lucky and recover from the tragedy, others are not so fortunate.
Consumer reports regarding illness linked to baby formula were filed with the FDA months before an actual investigation took place. It then took the FDA several more months for an official recall on the contaminated products to be issued. Many parents in similar situations are angry and confused about why the recall for these products took so long.
The Current Status of Litigation
Parents have brought suit against Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of Similac, and Mead Johnson, the manufacturer of Enfamil, for damages resulting from their infants falling ill or dying after consuming these products. The most popular causes of action attorneys are pursuing are defective product design and failure to warn about the risks of the product.
Scientific literature supports a finding that cow’s milk based products—such as the formulas at issue here—increase the risk of NEC in premature infants as their intestines are not yet developed enough to handle the bacteria found in cow’s milk. Parents argue that by making, marketing and selling a product that has a significant risk of harm to the infants intended to consume it, the manufacturers have defectively designed their products.
Many parents also argue that the manufacturer’s failure to warn of this risk caused the infants to get sick and, in some cases, pass away. Parents contend that, had they been warned about the risks of formula feeding, they may have opted to breastfeed their babies or use human donor milk as an alternative.
In December 2021, several infant formula NEC lawsuits were filed in Illinois state court. Many suits are being filed in Illinois because it is where the headquarters of both Abbott and Mead Johnson are located. A motion to consolidate the NEC cases to be heard before a single judge identified 33 separate lawsuits that were pending in Illinois state court at the time.
Since December, Abbott and Mead Johnson have both filed motions stating that they are in favor of consolidating the NEC lawsuits into a class action lawsuit. While NEC plaintiffs’ lawyers still favor filing suit in Illinois court, the attorneys for Abbott are pushing for the suit to be heard in the District of Connecticut. This matter has not yet been resolved and no settlements have been paid.
Contact an Experienced NEC Baby Formula Lawyer
If you or a loved one fed their baby recalled baby formula and were diagnosed with NEC, you should contact a lawyer with experience. You may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering, among other losses. Our firm works with Knowledgeable Baby Formula Lawyers who are investigating these cases. There is no fee unless you obtain a settlement of award. Contact us toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.