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Baby Formula Lawsuit

Baby Formula Lawsuit

Premature babies who are fed Similac, Enfamil or other baby formulas made from cow’s milk can develop a severe intestinal disease called Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC).

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting baby formula induced injury cases in all 50 states. If your baby was born preterm or prematurely and developed Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) after being fed baby formula in the NICU, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

Baby Formula Lawsuits for NEC

For more than 30 years, the manufacturers of baby formula have known that it can significantly increase a premature baby’s risk of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), a life-threatening intestinal disease. Unfortunately, these companies still fail to warn about NEC on the label for Similac, Enfamil, and other popular baby formulas — including formulas specifically for premature infants.

Baby Formula Lawsuits Accuse Manufacturers of Failing to Warn About NEC

In recent years, a growing number of lawsuits have been filed by angry parents who accuse baby formula companies of downplaying the deadly risks of giving cow’s milk-based formula to an infant.

Not only do the labels on Similac and Enfamil fail to warn about NEC — they also fail to provide instructions on how to reduce the risk of NEC when feeding formula to a premature infant (such as using pasteurized donor breast milk instead of cow’s-milk baby formulas).

What Do the Labels Say?

The label on Similac has no warnings about NEC, and only a vague warning that “very low birth-weight infants are particularly susceptible to gastrointestinal complications.” The label on Enfamil does not include a single warning about NEC or other intestinal complications.

Are Lawsuits Being Filed Against NICU Doctors or Nurses?

No. Doctors and nurses in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are not being sued. Instead, baby formula lawsuits are specifically targeted at manufacturers who are intentionally not warning about the dangers of feeding their products to preterm babies.

Similac Lawsuits

Similac lawsuits are being filed against Abbott Laboratories, Inc., the company that manufacturers and advertises all Similac infant formula, including products for premature infants.

Abbott Laboratories sells the following types of infant formula:

  • Similac
  • Similac Special Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Alimentum
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
  • And more

Enfamil Lawsuits

Enfamil lawsuits are being filed against Mead Johnson & Company (also known as Mead Johnson Nutrition Company), the company that manufactures and advertises all types of Enfamil infant formula, including products for premature babies.

Mead Johnson & Co. sells the following types of infant formula:

  • Enfamil
  • Enfamil NeuroPro EnfaCare Infant Formula
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 24 Cal High Protein
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 30 Cal with Iron
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 24 Cal with Iron
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 20 Cal with Iron
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier
  • And more

Why Doctors Feed Formula to Premature Infants

Babies are designed to eat breast milk, but premature babies may not be coordinated enough to suck or breastfeed effectively. The baby also needs to grow rapidly, but the mother may not have enough milk supply. This is why it is so common for NICU doctors to use baby formula, milk fortifier, or baby formula mixed with donor breast milk.

The Many Benefits of Breast Milk

Breast milk is beneficial for premature infants, including those with NEC, because it is the easiest food for a baby to digest. Breast milk also supports the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines, which can help fight the heavy overgrowth of bacteria that erodes the intestinal wall. Breast milk contains antibodies that boost a baby’s immune system, and proteins that provide anti-inflammatory benefits.

Why Are Premature Infants So Susceptible to NEC?

The intestines of a premature infant may not be developed enough to digest cow’s-milk proteins and other ingredients in baby formula. This can result in severe inflammation in the intestines, which can lead to the death of intestinal tissue, or a hole (perforation) in the intestines.

What Happens in NEC?

If the inflammation is not controlled, bacteria can cause a severe infection that causes parts of the intestines to die (called “necrosis”).

The necrotic sections of the intestines will never heal, so they may need to be removed surgically. NEC can also create a hole in the intestines that allows bacteria to spread into the body, resulting in an infection. The infection can spiral out of control within hours or days.

Signs & Symptoms of NEC

  • Belly is red, swollen and tender
  • Poor feeding
  • Failure to thrive
  • Slow digestion
  • Constipation or diarrhea with bloody stools
  • Sleepiness or less activity
  • Green vomit (containing bile)
  • Slow heart-rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pauses in breathing

Studies Linking Baby Formula and NEC

No one knows exactly what causes NEC, but numerous studies have confirmed the baby formula is far more likely to cause NEC in premature infants, compared to babies who are only fed breast milk.

Here are just a few examples of recent studies:

    1. In 1990, a study of 926 premature infants found that NEC was 6-10 times more likely to occur in formula-fed babies compared to breast milk-fed infants (Source: “Breast milk and neonatal necrotising enterocolitis”)
    2. In 2010, a study found that premature babies were 90% less likely to develop severe NEC requiring surgery if they were only fed human milk, breast milk, donor milk, and human milk fortifier (Source: “An Exclusively Human Milk Diet Reduces Necrotizing Enterocolitis”)
    3. In 2021, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics published a study that concluded that “feeding preterm infants human milk is associated with a significant reduction (58%) in the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).” (Source: “Breastfeeding and the use of human milk”)

Do I have a Baby Formula Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting baby formula induced injury cases in all 50 states. If your baby was born preterm or prematurely and developed Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) after being fed baby formula in the NICU, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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