A premature baby is a baby that is born too early. This is typically defined in the medical community as a baby that is born before 37 weeks. Babies who are born prematurely may need medical care and may spend time in the NICU or neonatal intensive care unit. Sometimes babies who are born prematurely will begin to receive formula in order help the babies gain weight. However, medical evidence suggests that certain milk-based formulas can cause a very serious and even potentially deadly medical condition called necrotizing enterocolitis. The risk of this serious condition was not previously known by many parents but was known by the manufacturers of these products. Additionally, the companies that manufacture the baby formula that has been associated with the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis have not warned parents about the risks associated with their products.
Companies have a legal duty to warn about the potential dangers of their products. If they fail to warn about the dangers of their products, they can be held liable for their failure to give adequate warnings. Specifically, if the manufacturers of the baby formula knew of the potential danger of their formula and failed to warn parents of the risks, they can be held reasonable in a court of law.
Which baby formulas are included in the lawsuits that have been filed?
To date the following baby formulas are included in the lawsuits that have been filed:
Similac Special Care 20
Similac Special Care 24
Similac Special Care 30
Similac Special Care 24 – High Protein
Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier
Enfamil NeuroPro EnfaCare
Enfamil 24 Cal
The above infant formulas are manufactured by Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson. The companies are presently facing lawsuits in many different states across the United States. More lawsuits are likely to follow as more parents learn about the harmful impact the baby formula their children ingested caused.
What is presently happening?
At the present time, parents across the United States have begun to file lawsuits against the manufacturers of the baby formulas that have been causing necrotizing enterocolitis. Some of these suits may be consolidated into groups called class action suits where multiple claims and multiple parties are joined together in an attempt to resolve the claims. In many cases the basis of the lawsuits is the failure of the manufacturers to warn of the dangers of the baby formulas.
What are the symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis?
Necrotizing enterocolitis is a dangerous digestive problem that causes inflammation in the intestinal lining. This can lead to serious and sometimes deadly infections of the intestines. These infections can spread as well and cause damage to the intestinal walls. The symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis include abdominal pressure and pain, fever, painful stomach, diarrhea and upset stomach. Many infants recover from these conditions, but some very serious medical outcomes have occurred.
Does all baby formula cause necrotizing enterocolitis?
Studies and the relevant information available seem to suggest that the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis is specific to cow-milk based formulas. Those include the products known widely as Enfamil and Similac which are manufactured by Abbot Laboratories and Mead Johnson. Other non-cow-milk-based formulas have not been linked to serious digestive conditions in the way the above baby formulas have.
Who can file a lawsuit?
Parents whose children have suffered a digestive injury after they were fed the above formulas may be eligible to file a lawsuit for the harm in which their child suffered. The specific facts and circumstances of each case will dictate whether a case can be filed and proved in a court of law. However, in general, parents whose children were fed either Enfamil or Similac formula and subsequently developed necrotizing enterocolitis may wish to seek further legal advice in regard to their specific circumstances.
Why should parents consider filing a lawsuit?
In general, lawsuits make our communities safter. Holding companies accountable for their negligent or dangerous actions makes everyone safer and may prevent harm in the future. Additionally, providing financial compensation to the victim of a wrongful act helps that baby or family cover medical expenses, future treatment and provides compensation for the pain the child suffered.
How long have manufacturers known about this risk?
It appears that the data and information surrounding the increased risk has been around for almost 10 years. Yet, over this period of time, the manufacturers of cow-based infant formula have failed to provide any warnings to parents about the risks and potential harm their infants face.
If your infant has suffered due to ingesting formula contact our law firm today. Our firm offers free no obligation consultations to all civil clients. We will attempt to answer all your questions. If you retain our firm, we will vigorously fight to obtain you the compensation you deserve. As always, you do not pay a legal fee unless we win your case.