Toxic Baby Formula (NEC) Lawsuit
Medical malpractice claims are complex, especially when the affected patient, such as a young child, cannot communicate what happened to them. Claims involving infant injuries require thorough observation and investigation with the legal work.
If your child has been diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) after receiving bovine-based formula you may be eligible to recover compensation in a toxic baby formula NEC lawsuit.
Let our family help yours. Speak with an experienced toxic baby formula lawyer at Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm to understand your legal rights and next steps.
Call 212.869.3500 today or contact us online for a free case evaluation.
What is Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)?
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a severe large intestine bacterial infection. The condition typically affects the colon in newborns. Eventually, it leads to intestinal tissue inflammation, local tissue necrosis, and intestinal perforation.
NEC is the most threatening gastrointestinal complication for premature infants. Eighty percent of NEC cases occur in preterm infants, with higher rates in low birth weight (LBW) and very low birth weight (VLBW) infants.
Twenty to 30-percent of cases result in hospitalization, and death occurs in 50 percent of cases. Cases increased when infants received cow milk-based formula exclusively or combined with material breast milk or donor milk. NEC is rare for full-term infants.
NEC symptoms start within three to 12 days after birth. Late-onset symptoms may not emerge until many weeks after birth.
Common symptoms of NEC may include:
- Abdominal distention (swelling)
- Bloody stools
- Poor feeding or feeding intolerance
- Bile-colored (green) vomiting or gastric discharge
- Lethargy (sluggishness)
- Apnea (cessation or difficulty breathing)
- Temperature instability
Even if your child pulls through, they will likely face further complications.
Common longer-term complications and side effects of NEC include:
- Neurodevelopmental delay
- Inability to absorb nutrients
- Failure to thrive
- Short bowel syndrome
- Gastrointestinal problems, including strictures and adhesions
- Intestinal failure
- Blood pressure instability
It is difficult to know where to turn for help when your child is sick. When your baby suffers from preventable conditions due to medical negligence, you likely feel more helpless. You probably want answers — and justice.
The injury lawyers at Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm offer decades of experience in medical malpractice and birth injury. We offer the knowledge and resources to get justice for your family.
Can cow milk-based formula cause NEC?
No one knows for sure what causes NEC. But, the link between cow milk-based formula and NEC underwent decades of research. Studies revealed cases of NEC infections increase when premature babies consume exclusively cow milk-based formula or a combination of it and maternal breast milk or donor milk.
Generally, cow milk formulas are not recommended. Human breast milk is typically the best option for infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months, followed by continued breastfeeding as parents introduce appropriate solid foods.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finds a higher risk of lower respiratory disease and leukemia for formula-fed babies.
The theory is that cow milk damages the intestine lining, killing cells and putting holes in the intestinal wall. Premature babies are susceptible to this damage because of their underdeveloped digestive systems.
There are other risk factors for NEC. Premature birth and early feeding are prominent NEC risk factors. But so are difficult deliveries and lowered oxygen levels. There are also NEC “epidemic” cases where several infants in the same nursery develop symptoms.
Many NEC cases link to medical malpractice. Medical staff may feed substandard formula, fail to sanitize, or make errors during delivery. If your child develops NEC, investigating these factors may reveal a legal cause of action.
Who may be liable for my child’s NEC injuries?
There are two parties we can pursue in a medical malpractice lawsuit: formula manufacturers and healthcare providers. These claims are based on the following theories:
- Product liability: Product liability is a cause of action filed against manufacturers for producing a dangerous or malfunctioning product. It also includes cases where manufacturers fail to warn against possible hazards. Formula manufacturers may be liable for failing to warn of NEC and making unsafe products. Learn more about class action claims.
- Medical malpractice: NEC arises from many causes, including birth injury and cow milk formula. Doctors and nurses may make mistakes in delivery that lead to NEC or feed cow milk formula without warning parents of possible dangers. They can also face liability if they knew of potential risks of NEC but didn’t make an effort to avoid them. Learn more about medical malpractice claims.
Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson & Co. are two significant manufacturers facing baby formula lawsuits. Their formulas are linked explicitly to life-threatening digestive conditions. Abbott announced a voluntary recall in February 2022, and the FDA followed up with a warning.
Which infant formulas are involved in NEC lawsuits?
Similac and Enfamil baby formulas currently attract legal scrutiny because they failed to warn healthcare providers and caregivers of the dangers associated with cow’s milk-based formulas. That includes the risk of an infant developing NEC.
These products include:
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier
- Enfacare Powder
- Similiac Special Care
- Similac Special Care High Protein
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier
- Similac Neosure
- Similac Alimentum
- Similac Baby Formula
Other baby formula products that may pose an increased risk of NEC include:
- Earth’s Best
- Happy Baby
- Go & Grow
- Parent’s Choice
- Baby’s Only
Any formulas used in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) or gifted from your hospital may be suspect. Similac underwent a recall. You can check the lot number to see if any baby formula in your home is subject to it.
How much is my NEC class-action lawsuit worth?
There is a high potential for significant awards because NEC treatment is extensive. Premature babies suffering from NEC require intravenous feeding and antibiotic therapy. They need frequent blood tests, and if the abdominal swelling restricts breathing, they need oxygen.
Severe cases require breathing assistance and surgery.
Your damage award depends on:
- Medical bills
- Future medical costs
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
- Lost wages (parents’ wages)
- Punitive damages
The entire process frightens parents and causes them distress. It is difficult to avoid feeding a tiny baby, and these early feedings strengthen bonds. Emotional distress for parents also comes into the damages picture and the baby’s pain and suffering.
There have been medical malpractice lawsuits for NEC, but the product liability claims against baby formula manufacturers are new. The Enfamil lawsuits and Similac lawsuits are ongoing, and more cases file in federal court every day.
Class action and multi-district litigation (MDL) also proceed, especially in Michigan and Illinois.
Wrongful death cases bring the largest settlements due to severe grief and high medical expenses. Some medical malpractice cases have awarded as high as $2 million settlements, but that is no guarantee for your claim.
That amount often depends on your child’s illness and injuries, how much the treatment cost, and the pain and suffering for you and your child. We discuss possible case values in your free consultation.
How do I qualify for a toxic baby formula NEC lawsuit?
You may qualify as a plaintiff in this lawsuit if your child received cow milk-based formula and developed NEC or other digestive health issues. However, we can’t know your eligibility until we examine all circumstances of your case.
If you believe you could be eligible, contact our law firm today so we can discuss the possibility. Our consultations are risk-free and will help you make an informed decision.
How the toxic baby formula lawyers at Jacob D. Fuchsberg can help
Medical malpractice claims are complex, especially when the affected patient cannot communicate what happened to them. Claims involving infant injuries require thorough observation and investigation with the legal work.
You may be worried, stressed, or busy caring for your child, which makes the prospect of a legal claim overwhelming.
Our attorneys are dedicated to ensuring justice for families facing these ordeals, and we have years of experience to back it up. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can compile your case using resources that may not be available to you. Also, we handle the paperwork and investigation while you can focus on your baby.
The Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm can help you by:
- Gathering evidence: Your case depends on solid evidence, and we know what works. Possible evidence may include photos, videos, witness statements, expert testimony, medical records, billing statements, and incident reports.
- Consulting experts: Our network of experts includes medical professionals with specialized knowledge. It is sometimes difficult to link medical malpractice to a specific condition, but our experts can examine records and explain what occurred. This testimony becomes vital at trial and can lead to quicker and fairer settlements.
- Assessing damages: Every case is unique, even when they involve similar medical conditions. We assess medical damages and how NEC affected you personally if you missed work or suffered psychological distress. We consider all your damages, so you receive a fair settlement. Your child’s pain and suffering are one component of damage, but you also face that. We ensure it receives consideration. Also, if your child suffers long-term health effects that require further treatment, we can include future medical expenses in your potential damage award.
- Aggressive negotiation: Medical malpractice insurance carriers and formula manufacturers have extensive legal departments. These attorneys are highly skilled in litigation and negotiation and seek the best result for their clients. That includes getting out of liability entirely or paying the lowest settlement amount possible. While grieving or stressed-out parents may find these confrontations intimidating, our attorneys do not. You also deserve legal representation that puts your interests first. Let us do the aggressive negotiation for you and secure the best result possible.
- Support and guidance: You should never face these challenges alone, especially if NEC caused a tragic outcome and wrongful death claim. Your attorney is available to answer questions and offer reassurance through every step of the process. We inform you of developments and help you make informed decisions. Our goal is to include empathy with solid and dedicated legal representation.
Discuss your claim with an experienced toxic baby formula lawyer today
NEC is a dangerous infection with a 25 to 50 percent mortality rate. Even if your child survives NEC, they likely face long-term medical care and expenses. The fact that this condition is preventable and other parties are responsible may make this situation more agonizing.
The attorneys at Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm dedicate themselves to helping medical malpractice and birth injury victims. We offer resources and skills that get to the bottom of these cases and secure justice for families affected by necrotizing enterocolitis.
If your child developed NEC or another digestive condition after receiving cow milk-based formula, let our family help yours.
Call 212.869.3500 today or contact us online for a free case evaluation.