What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) and how does it affect infants?
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious gastrointestinal disease that primarily affects premature infants. It occurs when the wall of the intestine is invaded by harmful bacteria. As the bacteria spreads, it can cause local infection, inflammation, and destruction of the bowel wall itself. This can lead to further infections and potentially life-threatening complications in infants who are affected.
Some common signs and symptoms of NEC include:
- Difficulty eating and digesting food
- Lack of weight gain
- Swelling of the stomach/abdomen
- Stomach discoloration
- Blood in stool
- Vomit that is tinged yellow or green
- Decreased energy (lethargy)
- Changes in body temperature
- Low heart rate and/or apnea
Do Enfamil and Similac formulas cause NEC?
Some scientific studies have concluded that cow’s milk–based infant formulas, such as Enfamil and Similac, may increase the risk of NEC in preterm infants. However, research is still ongoing to fully understand the link between these types of baby formulas and the development of NEC.
Despite the mounting evidence against them, Mead Johnson Nutrition and Abbott Laboratories have refused to include warning labels on Enfamil and Similac products or acknowledge the potential risk of NEC in premature infants.
List of Enfamil and Similac baby formulas mentioned in NEC lawsuits
So far, the following baby formulas have been mentioned in the lawsuits being filed against Mead Johnson Nutrition and Abbott Laboratories. However, if your infant has developed NEC after being fed any cow’s milk-based product, you should contact our product liability attorneys right away to get your case reviewed.
- 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
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder
- 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
Current status of baby formula NEC lawsuits
Multidistrict litigation is underway and we are in the process of identifying families who have been harmed by NEC that resulted from the use of Enfamil or Similac cow’s milk products. Defendant’s attorneys have lost on multiple motions to dismiss based on statutes of limitations and courts have signaled a willingness to apply the discovery rule. This means that families have more time to determine if a child’s death was caused by NEC related to these formulas.
Is there a recall on Enfamil or Similac baby formula?
As of January 2022, the FDA has not issued recalls on any Enfamil- or Similac-brand baby formulas. This means that these products are still being sold in stores, despite the fact that their labels fail to warn consumers of the increased risk of NEC.
Medical organizations have recommended that hospitals use only a mother’s milk or human milk-based products for preterm babies in NICU facilities, but the extent to which these recommendations are being followed is unclear at this time.
McIntyre Law is closely monitoring the situation and will provide any updates regarding Enfamil recalls on our FDA recall watch page.
Working with McIntyre Law
Many parents and caregivers rely on baby formula to provide essential nutrients to their infants. And if your child is in the NICU, you trust that what your baby is fed will help them grow and recover, not do them harm. If your preterm newborn was fed Enfamil or Similac and then experienced NEC, McIntyre Law will help you file a claim and receive just compensation for your child’s pain and suffering as well as any ongoing or permanent side effects.
Do you have a case for a baby formula NEC lawsuit?
To qualify for one of the ongoing baby formula lawsuits involving Enfamil or Similac, your child must have been born prior to 37 weeks gestation, been diagnosed with NEC, not been feed mother’s milk exclusively, been fed Similac or Enfamil formula or human milk fortifier, and suffered one of the following conditions as the result of NEC:
- Intestinal perforation
- Scarring or strictures in the intestines
- Cerebral palsy
- Neurological damage
What to Know Before You File a Lawsuit
It is important to collect and save as much information as possible about your premature child’s NEC. The use of cow’s milk-based formula dramatically increases the likelihood that a child will experience NEC, but because there isn’t a direct link, you will need to obtain as many records as possible about your child’s treatment for NEC as well as how and what they were fed in the NICU prior to the onset of NEC.
At McIntyre Law, our attorneys are experienced with these types of cases and can remove obstacles to obtain the documents and medical records you will need for your case. Contact us today if your child experienced NEC and was fed Similac or Enfamil formula following a premature birth.
Meet Our Baby Formula NEC Lawsuit Attorneys
Our attorneys fight for those injured by faulty products every day. If your child died from NEC, or if your child is living with the ongoing consequences of surgery needed to treat NEC, we know taking care of yourself and your child is the top priority. Our attorneys can make sure there is justice for your child and take much of the burden off of your shoulders during this difficult time.
Brenda Gómez O'Dell
What is a contingency fee?
Lawyers who work on a contingency fee basis receive a fixed percentage of any monetary rewards that result from your lawsuit to cover their legal fees. That means if there’s no money recovered from your baby formula NEC lawsuit, you don’t owe us a dime. We only get paid once you do.
The Oklahoma Statute of Limitations for Enfamil NEC Lawsuits
In most cases and in most states, injured parties have up to two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. In formula-related NEC cases, however, the injured parties are very young children. Most states extend their statutes of limitations when minors are injured, but some do not. Depending on where you live, time may be running out, so contact us today and we can help you determine just how much time you have.
In cases where an infant has died of NEC that was caused by infant formula, the companies have tried to enforce a two-year statute of limitations in some states. Courts have issued favorable rulings citing the discovery rule, meaning that for parents of deceased children the statute of limitations begins when they discover that the death was related to the use of cow-based infant formula.
Compensation for NEC-related diseases
Litigation against Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson is just getting underway, and the possibility of punitive damage awards has not necessarily been ruled out. But at the very least, compensation could include:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages (for lifelong disability from NEC)