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Baby Formula & NEC Litigation Update

2 min read

Introduction

A litany of lawsuits is being prepared against baby formula manufacturers, claiming that the main injury is necrotizing enterocolitis for infants who ingest the baby formula. According to drugwatcher.org, “a growing body of research suggests that premature babies that are given cow milk-based formula are up to 10 times more likely to develop necrotizing enterocolitis than babies who are exclusively fed with breastmilk.”[1] Infants who are fed cow milk baby formula are three times more likely to develop necrotizing enterocolitis.

NEC Injury 

The formula that uses cow milk is dangerous to newborn infants because it can cause newborns to develop the deadly infection known as necrotizing enterocolitis or NEC. It is a serious type of neonatal condition whereby bacteria infects the infant’s gastrointestinal tract. The bacteria gets into the intestinal tissue and causes rapid decay, specifically in the colon area of the gastrointestinal tract. This, in turn, can perforate the walls of the GI tract. According to research, about 25 to 50% of premature infants who develop NEC die from the infection because the bacteria travels through the intestinal walls and escapes, which leads to systemic infections.[2]

Currently, the two most popular baby formula brands are Enfamil and Similac. Enfamil is made by Mead Johnson and Similac is manufactured and sold by Abbott. Both manufacturers have been made aware of the scientific evidence that the formula they sell could lead to an increased risk of NEC in premature babies. Despite this, both manufacturers have failed to put a warning label on their products to advise doctors and parents of the risks.[3]

NEC MDL

The NEC Baby Formula cases have recently been consolidated into an MDL with Rebecca Pallmeyer as the judge in the Northern District of Illinois. There are currently 89 cases pending as of July 15, 2022. As of June 30, 2022, the judge has allowed for direct filings in the multi-district litigation.[4] No baby formula NEC lawsuits have gone to trial. Bellwether trials are expected to begin in the MDL In 12-18 months. Previous cases involving NEC have reached verdicts of around 3.5 million.

Michael Brady Lynch Firm

Here at the Michael Brady Lynch Firm, we are taking any and all NEC baby formula cases. If your infant has been injured by one of these baby formulas, please give us a call at 888-585-5970.

Date: July 22, 2022

Author: Brandon Salter

[1]  https://www.drugwatcher.org/nec-and-baby-formula/

[2]https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/nec#:~:text=General%20Information&text=Necrotizing%20enterocolitis%2C%20or%20NEC%2C%20is,The%20condition%20typically%20affects%20infants.

[3] https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/absurd-loophole-cant-keep-abbott-formula-lawsuits-federal-court-judge-2022-06-23/

[4] https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_District-Jun-15-2022.pdf

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