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NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit Updates - December 2023

A series of lawsuits have been filed against Abbot Laboratories and Mead Johnson regarding baby formulas over the last few years. The suits, which have been consolidated into a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL), allege that the companies did not do enough to warn of the dangers of cow’s milk-based baby formulas, which has been linked to causing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in preterm infants. Several products, coming under the Enfamil (Mead Johnson) and Similac (Abbott Laboratories) brand range, have been named in the lawsuits. • As of November 2023, there are close to 300 lawsuits consolidated into the MDL against these companies. • An Illinois District Judge selected four of the lawsuits for bellwether trials, which are likely to go ahead in 2024. • Parents and guardians of children who have been impacted by NEC after being fed these formulas are being urged to check whether they are eligible to join the NEC baby formula lawsuits.

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NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit Updates

A series of lawsuits have been filed against Abbot Laboratories and Mead Johnson regarding baby formulas over the last few years. The suits, which have been consolidated into a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL), allege that the companies did not do enough to warn of the dangers of cow’s milk-based baby formulas, which has been linked to causing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in preterm infants. Several products, coming under the Enfamil (Mead Johnson) and Similac (Abbott Laboratories) brand range, have been named in the lawsuits.

  • As of November 2023, there are close to 300 lawsuits consolidated into the MDL against these companies.
  • An Illinois District Judge selected four of the lawsuits for bellwether trials, which are likely to go ahead in 2024.
  • Parents and guardians of children who have been impacted by NEC after being fed these formulas are being urged to check whether they are eligible to join the NEC baby formula lawsuits.
NEC LawsuitNEC Lawsuit

Baby Formulas and Infant Formulas are Linked to Necrotizing Enterocolitis

The crux of the NEC baby formula lawsuits is focused on the link between certain cow’s milk-based formulas and the development of NEC in preterm infants (babies born prematurely). Studies have reported on a possible link since the early 1990s, although experts still debate how strong that link is. One of the issues befuddling the issue is that there is still no consensus on the causes of NEC itself. Nonetheless, some studies show the risk of NEC can be up to ten times higher in preterm infants fed certain cow’s milk-based formulas compared to human milk or alternative formulas. Even if those risks aren’t fully established or agreed upon, parents deserve to have all available information so they can make informed decisions on the care of their newborns. That’s the fundamental basis of the NEC baby formula lawsuits, which have been filed by parents whose children have died or have been seriously injured after contracting NEC. 

NEC Linked

What Is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?

Necrotizing Enterocolitis is a disease that primarily attacks the intestinal tissue, causing perforation (holes) in the intestines and leading to serious injuries, potentially death. Newborns, particularly preterm babies with low birth weight, are particularly at risk from NEC. Studies have shown that preterm babies fed on formula rather than breastmilk are more prone to NEC. Around 9,000 of the 480,000 preterm babies born each year will get NEC. From 1999-2020, there were close to 9,000 deaths attributed to NEC in the United States.

What is NECWhat is NEC

Similac, Enfamil and Other Baby Formulas Are Linked to NEC Risk

The main focus of the NEC baby formula lawsuits is on certain products produced by Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson. Several products under the Enfamil and Similac brands have been named in the lawsuits. The key aspect is baby formulas based on cow’s milk, which has been shown in some studies to have a link with higher rates of NEC.

  • Studies stretching back to 1990 have provided some evidence of a link between bovine milk-based formulas and NEC.
  • 90% of those who get contract NEC are babies born prematurely.
  • NEC is rare, but it is a severe disease and can be fatal.
NEC LinkedNEC Linked

Which Brands of Baby Formula Products Are Included in the NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits?

The two brand names cited in the NEC lawsuits are Enfamil and Similac, which are produced by Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories respectively. However, there are dozens of different products under each of those brands. Specific baby formulas included in the NEC lawsuits are:

  • 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

What Can I Do If My Child Has Been Affected by NEC?

NEC is a serious disease, so your first action should be to contact your doctor if you have any concerns. If you believe your child has had NEC and it may be linked to cow’s milk baby formula, including the brands listed above, then you may be eligible for future compensation through the NEC baby formula lawsuits. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed already, and specialist NEC baby formula law firms are encouraging more parents to sign up if their children have had NEC linked to cow’s milk-based formulas.

What can I DoWhat can I Do

Who Is Responsible for My Child's Injuries?

With complex medical issues like NEC, there are no easy answers. However, we do know that links between certain types of baby formula and NEC have been reported in medical studies reaching back decades. The key questions in the NEC baby formula lawsuits will focus on what Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories knew about those links and whether they provided parents and neonatal healthcare practitioners with all the information on the safety of those formulas with regards to NEC. If the two medical companies are found to have been negligent in their duty of care, then they may be found responsible for some of the children who have been injured or died after having NEC.

How to File a Lawsuit Against Baby Formula

Nationwide, law firms are asking for parents of impacted children to come forward and check their eligibility to join the lawsuits. While NEC is rare and not all babies fed bovine milk formula products got the disease, there are already nearly 300 who have officially joined the lawsuits, and many more are assumed to be eligible to join.

NEC How to FileNEC How to File

How to Gather Evidence in a NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit

If you decide to file a NEC baby formula lawsuit, then you may be required to gather some evidence for the case. This may include medical records proving your child had NEC, as well as information pertaining to the formula and feeding options that were recommended. Other auxiliary information that might be helpful would include medical bills, as well as any other expenses incurred in helping your child recover or loss of earnings as you looked after your child.

Gather Evidence NECGather Evidence NEC

NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits: Damages Assessment

If the lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson prove successful, including out-of-court settlements, then the compensation due to you would likely be calculated via damages assessment. Not every child or family would have been impacted by NEC in the same manner. Unfortunately, NEC has caused death in many children, including some of those whose parents are currently involved in the lawsuits. NEC baby formula payouts would thus be assessed based on factors like injury, including death, medical bills, loss of earnings, as well as suffering and anguish.

Baby Formula NEC Settlement Amounts

At this point, it’s too early to say how much you can get as a settlement from the NEC baby formula lawsuits. As stated earlier, a handful of cases have been selected for bellwether trials that are expected to go ahead in 2024. Those results and additional information, including what was known by Johnson Mead and Abbott Laboratories on the baby formula and NEC risks, will be able to assist lawyers in making estimates.

Lawyers for Toxic Baby Formula

The NEC baby formula lawsuits are consolidated into a nationwide MDL, so lawyers in your state will be able file on your behalf to help you secure compensation.

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NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit Updates  Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?

Necrotizing Enterocolitis is a disease that primarily attacks the intestinal tissue, causing perforation (holes) in the intestines and leading to serious injuries, potentially death. Newborns, particularly preterm babies with low birth weight, are particularly at risk from NEC. Studies have shown that preterm babies fed on formula rather than breastmilk are more prone to NEC. Around 9,000 of the 480,000 preterm babies born each year will get NEC. From 1999-2020, there were close to 9,000 deaths attributed to NEC in the United States.

 

2. How to File a Lawsuit Against Baby Formula?

Nationwide, law firms are asking for parents of impacted children to come forward and check their eligibility to join the lawsuits. While NEC is rare and not all babies fed bovine milk formula products got the disease, there are already nearly 300 who have officially joined the lawsuits, and many more are assumed to be eligible to join.

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