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Our Notable Personal Injury Verdicts and Settlements
Handling Baby Formula Lawsuits for Three Generations
Product liability claims are complex, especially when the affected person can't communicate what happened to them, as is the case with young children. Claims involving infant injuries demand thorough observation and investigation.
If your child has been diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis after taking cow milk-based formulas, you may be eligible to recover compensation in a toxic baby formula lawsuit.
The capable attorneys at Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm have spearheaded baby formula lawsuits for three generations, and we're prepared to take on your case as well. Speak with one of our compassionate legal advocates today to understand your legal rights and the next steps you should take.
What Is Necrotizing Enterocolitis?
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a severe bacterial infection affecting the large intestine. It typically impacts the colons of newborns, causing inflammation of intestinal tissue, local tissue necrosis, and intestinal perforation.
NEC poses a significant threat to premature infants, with 80% of cases occurring in preterm infants, especially those with low birth weight.
Around 20%–30% of NEC cases in low-birth-weight infants require hospitalization; sadly, close to 50% result in death. The risk is higher when premature newborns are fed milk-based baby formulas, either exclusively or in combination with human breast milk or donor milk. NEC is rare among full-term infants.
Can Cow's Milk-Based Formula Actually Cause NEC?
The exact cause of NEC remains uncertain, but research has focused on the link between NEC and cow milk-based formula, particularly in premature infants.
Cow milk formulas generally aren't recommended for infants — human breast milk is the preferred choice. Along with NEC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified higher risks of lower respiratory disease and leukemia in formula-fed infants.
The leading theory suggests that cow milk may damage the intestinal lining, particularly in premature infants with underdeveloped digestive systems.
Other risk factors for developing NEC include premature birth, early feeding, difficult deliveries, and reduced oxygen levels. Some cases have even been labeled "epidemic" when multiple infants in the same nursery develop symptoms.
Notably, many NEC cases are associated with actions constituting medical malpractice, such as the administration of substandard formulas, sanitation issues, or delivery errors. If your child develops NEC, investigating these factors may reveal grounds for legal action.
Common Symptoms of NEC
The following symptoms are among the most prevalent associated with NEC:
- Abdominal distention (swelling)
- Bloody stools
- Poor feeding or feeding intolerance
- Bile-colored (greenish) vomit or gastric discharge
- Apnea (cessation or difficulty breathing)
- Temperature instability
Even if your child recovers from the symptoms of NEC, they'll likely face further complications.
Related NEC Complications
Other, 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's difficult to know where to turn when your child is sick. If your premature infant is suffering from a preventable condition due to medical negligence, you likely feel helpless. You want answers — and justice.
The seasoned injury lawyers at Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm have decades of experience with medical malpractice and birth injury cases. We have the knowledge and resources to secure compensation for your family.
Your case depends on solid evidence, and we know how to find it. Possible evidence may include photos, videos, witness statements, expert testimony, medical records, billing statements, and incident reports.
Our network of experts includes medical professionals with specialized knowledge. It's sometimes difficult to link medical malpractice to a specific condition, but these authorities can examine records and explain what occurred. This testimony becomes vital at trial and can lead to quicker and fairer settlements.
Every case is unique, even when they involve similar medical conditions.
Medical malpractice insurance carriers and formula manufacturers have extensive legal departments. Their attorneys are skilled in litigation and negotiation and do everything in their power to look out for their clients' interests. This includes absolving them of liability entirely or paying the lowest settlement amount possible. While grieving parents may find these confrontations intimidating, our attorneys don't. You also deserve legal representation that puts your interests first.
Your Child Deserves Justice — Take Action Today
We can't change what's happened, but we can provide much-needed relief and take steps toward ensuring that it doesn't happen again. Contact us today to arrange a no-cost consultation. Your child's future is our top priority.Schedule a Free Consultation
Who Is Liable for My Child's NEC Injuries?
There are two parties we can potentially pursue in a toxic baby formula lawsuit: the formula manufacturers and your child's healthcare provider. Each of these claims would be based on the following theories:
Product liability is a cause of action filed against a manufacturer 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.
NEC arises from many causes, including cow's milk formulas. Doctors and nurses may make mistakes in delivery that lead to NEC or engage in cow milk formula feeding without warning parents of possible dangers. They can also face liability if they know of the potential risks of NEC but don’t make an effort to avoid them.
Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson & Company are two major manufacturers facing baby formula lawsuits. Their formulas have been directly linked 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 are currently attracting legal scrutiny because their manufacturers failed to warn healthcare providers and caregivers of the dangers associated with cow’s milk-based formulas, including the risk of NEC.
The respective brands include the following top-selling products:
- Enfamil Premature Infant Formula
- Enfamil 24-Calorie Formula
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier
- Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare Powder
- Enfamil Enspire
- Similac Special Care
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier
- Similac 360 Total Care
- Similac Neosure
- Similac Stage 1
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. You can check the lot numbers of the baby formula products in your home to see whether they're affected by these or other recalls and lawsuits.
How Much Is My NEC Class-Action Lawsuit Worth?
There's a high potential for significant awards in NEC baby formula lawsuits, owing to the fact that treating necrotizing enterocolitis is both difficult and expensive.
Premature babies suffering from NEC require intravenous feeding and antibiotic therapy. They also need frequent blood tests, and if the abdominal swelling restricts breathing, they may need oxygen. Severe cases require breathing assistance and surgery.
Parents of preterm infants who file NEC infant formula lawsuits stand to be awarded damages for the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages (parents’ wages)
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
- Punitive damages
While there have been medical malpractice lawsuits for NEC in the past, the product liability claims against baby formula manufacturers are relatively new.
The Enfamil and Similac lawsuits are ongoing, and more cases are being filed every day. Class-action suits and multidistrict litigation have become quite common, especially in Michigan and Illinois.
Wrongful death cases tend to bring the largest settlements due to the grief and substantial expenses they involve. Some medical malpractice cases have awarded settlements as high as $2 million, though there's no way to guarantee the outcome of such a case.
The amount you'll receive from a successful settlement will hinge on the severity of your child’s illness and injuries, their attendant treatment costs, and the pain and suffering your family has experienced. We'll discuss possible case values as part of your free consultation.
Do I Qualify for a Toxic Baby Formula NEC Lawsuit?
You may qualify as a plaintiff in this type of lawsuit if your child received cow milk-based formula and subsequently developed NEC or other digestive health issues. However, we won't know your exact eligibility until we examine all relevant circumstances surrounding your case.
If you believe you could be eligible, contact our firm today for an in-depth discussion. Our consultations are risk-free and will help you make an informed decision.
How the Toxic Baby Formula Lawyers at Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Firm Can Help
Our attorneys are dedicated to obtaining justice for families facing the consequences of irresponsible manufacturing and healthcare practices, and we have years of experience to back it up.
A proven baby formula NEC attorney in New York can compile your case using resources that may not be available to you alone. We'll handle the paperwork and investigation while you focus on caring for your child.
Here are some of the ways we can be of assistance: