Baby Formula Lawsuits
When babies are born prematurely or underweight, medical providers will often turn to infant formula to ensure that the newborn receives the nourishment it needs. However, studies have shown that bovine milk-based formulas can pose a significant risk to young babies. Formula products like Similac and Enfamil have been linked to cases of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in newborns who were delivered early or are below a healthy weight.
If your newborn suffered from symptoms of NEC after receiving Similac, Enfamil, or another bovine milk formula, you might be entitled to recover compensation for any expenses or non-financial losses you incurred from the manufacturer of the dangerous formula.
At Finz & Finz, P.C. our attorneys understand how traumatizing it can be to see your newborn suffering from a severe illness during what should be a time of joy and celebration. That’s why we are committed to fighting for families whose newborns have been harmed by defective products.
To learn more about how we can help you demand the justice and compensation that you and your child deserve, contact the New York baby formula lawsuit attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. today for a free consultation.
Which Products are Included in Litigation?
Cow’s milk-based formula products manufactured and distributed by Mead Johnson & Company (Enfamil) and Abbott Laboratories (Similac) have been shown to cause symptoms of NEC in premature and low-weight newborns.
The products included in ongoing baby formula/NEC litigation include:
- Enfacare Powder
- Enfamil Premature 20 Cal
- Enfamil Premature 24 Cal
- Enfamil Premature 24 Cal/fl oz HP
- Enfamil Premature 30 Cal
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Liquid High Protein
- Enfamil Milk Fortifier Liquid Standard Protein
- Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare
- Enfamil 24 and DHA & ARA Supplement
- Similac NeoSure
- Similac Alimentum
- Similac Alimentum Expert Care
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein Concentrated Liquid
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier Powder
- Similac Special Care
- Similac Special Care 20
- Similac Special Care 24
- Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
- Similac Special Care 30
- Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
If your child developed NEC due to one or more of these products, you could have grounds for a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis?
Necrotizing enterocolitis, frequently referred to as “NEC,” is a gastrointestinal illness that primarily affects the intestines of newborn babies. Infants most commonly contract NEC in the first two weeks after birth. NEC can cause inflammation in the intestinal lining, which can lead to severe tissue damage.
NEC can also cause other life-threatening symptoms, such as perforations in the intestinal wall, which allow dangerous germs to seep into the abdomen and harm other internal organs. Left untreated, NEC can even cause death.
Roughly one in every 2,000-4,000 newborns suffers from NEC after birth. Low-weight and premature newborns have a much higher risk of developing the condition, especially if they are fed bovine milk-based baby formula.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of NEC include:
- Bloody stools
- Changes in body temperature
- Changes in breathing
- Changes in heart rate
- Fluctuating blood pressure
- Green or yellow vomit
- Inability to put on weight
- Refusal to eat
- Swelling and pain in the abdominal cavity
NEC can cause severe complications, including sepsis, peritonitis, intestinal strictures (a narrowing of the intestines), tissue scarring in the intestines, and short bowel syndrome. If your newborn shows symptoms of NEC, it is vital to seek medical care right away. Leaving NEC untreated can have tragic consequences.
Am I Eligible To File a Baby Formula Lawsuit?
If you meet the following qualifications, you could be entitled to pursue a baby formula lawsuit:
- Your baby was born underweight or prematurely
- The baby did not receive breast milk from its mother
- The baby received a cow’s milk-based formula or milk fortifier prior to developing symptoms of NEC
- Your newborn was diagnosed with NEC or another related condition such as dead bowel or gut rot
If you believe that you qualify for a lawsuit, consult with an attorney at your earliest convenience. An experienced New York product liability lawyer can help determine whether you have a case.
Who is Liable in an NEC Lawsuit?
In New York, manufacturers who sell defective products can be held liable for any injuries or illnesses caused by their products. In the case of bovine milk-based infant formula, you will need to determine whether your newborn received Similac, Enfamil, both products, or different infant formula. If your newborn received Similac, you could hold Abbott Laboratories liable, and if they were fed Enfamil, you could take legal action against Mead Johnson & Company.
You might also be able to hold the medical providers who administered the formula liable through a medical malpractice claim. A medical provider who fed bovine milk infant formula to a premature or low-weight baby may have committed medical negligence. Most physicians are independent contractors, and you can usually bring a medical malpractice claim directly against them (or their insurance company). However, if a hospital employee such as a nurse administered the baby formula to your newborn, you might be able to hold the hospital liable through vicarious liability, a legal concept in which an employer takes responsibility for the negligent actions of their employees.
Compensation for NEC Lawsuits
If your newborn contracted NEC from Similac, Enfamil, or another similar baby formula, you could be entitled to recover compensation.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could demand financial relief for:
- Medical expenses required to treat your newborn’s illness and injuries
- Lost income if you were forced to take time off work while your infant was sick
- Other expenses related to your baby’s condition
- Pain and suffering, including emotional trauma, mental anguish, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by the incident
Determining the value of your claim can be complicated, particularly when it comes to calculating your non-financial losses. A knowledgeable NEC lawsuit lawyer can document your expenses and quantify the emotional turmoil you and your family have suffered. It’s important to know what your claim is worth before you demand compensation so that you don’t end up with an inadequate settlement and significant out-of-pocket expenses.
Contact New York Personal Injury Law Firm, Finz & Finz, P.C. Today
No parent should have to watch their newborn suffer because of someone else’s negligence. If you have endured hardship because your child received Similac, Enfamil, or another cow’s milk baby formula, you deserve a chance to hold the manufacturer and any other responsible parties accountable for their actions.
The New York NEC lawsuit attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. can also help. Our product liability lawyers are not afraid to fight back against large corporations that failed to disclose the potential hazards associated with using their products. Contact us today for a free case review.