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Enfamil Lawsuits for NEC Compensation

Breastfeeding may not always be possible for premature babies because they are simply too young to suckle properly on their mother’s breast. In other cases, some mothers are physically unable to breastfeed due to breast hypoplasia (a condition that causes low or no breast milk production) or some other condition that prevents them from breastfeeding.

In cases like these, hospitals may give baby formula to premature babies. Unfortunately, some cow’s milk-based formulas and milk fortifier products may cause necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). NEC is a life-threatening gastrointestinal disease in premature and low birth weight newborns.

baby-drinking-enfamil-developing-nec

Did the hospital feed your premature baby Enfamil formula or other formula products? Has your child developed NEC? If so, you might be able to file a lawsuit against Mead Johnson and the hospital responsible for feeding your baby cow’s milk-based formula.

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, we can help you navigate your baby formula lawsuit to receive full and fair compensation for the damages caused to your family.

Call our product liability attorneys at (888) 424-5757, or use this contact form to schedule a free case review for your Enfamil baby formula lawsuit.

What Is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a severe gastrointestinal problem that commonly affects premature infants. Babies diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis suffer damage to their intestinal tissue, which leads to necrosis (tissue death).

A hole may form in the infant’s intestine, serving as an entryway for bacteria from the bowel. When this occurs, several complications may arise, such as:

  • Abdominal infection: Some premature babies may develop holes (perforations) in their intestinal walls. When bacteria enters this area, an infection called peritonitis can occur. This infection increases the risk of sepsis, a deadly blood infection.
  • Short bowel syndrome: Short bowel syndrome may result if necrotizing enterocolitis damages a portion of the small intestine. This illness makes it difficult for the body to absorb fluids and nutrients, which requires lifelong care for the child to ensure they receive the proper nutrition.
  • Intestinal stricture: A stricture causes the intestines to narrow, making it harder for food to pass through. Some babies need surgery for their intestines to return to normal.
  • Growth failure and developmental setbacks: NEC can result in life-long complications, such as growth failure and developmental delays. These babies usually require close monitoring to ensure that they grow normally.

Symptoms of NEC

NEC typically develops two to six weeks after birth. Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Changes in heart rate, breathing, body temperature, and blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stool
  • Green or yellow vomit
  • Refusing to eat
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of weight gain

The Dangers of Cow’s Milk-Based Baby Formula

The exact cause of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is unknown. However, numerous studies link cow milk formulas, such as Similac and Enfamil, to an increased risk of a premature infant developing NEC.

Enfamil products are generally considered safe to consume for babies born full-term. However, premature babies born before 37 weeks are more at risk of developing NEC when fed formula with cow’s milk.

Many babies spend weeks or even months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Most are given cow’s milk-based formula as a substitute for human milk. Although Enfamil infant formula products are designed to give premature babies the nutrition they need to grow, they can also increase the risk of NEC.

Here are some of the alarming numbers that reveal the problem that cow's milk-based Enfamil products can cause:

  • One study found that 21% of babies with low birth weights fed with cow-based formulas developed necrotizing enterocolitis; only 3% of breastfed babies developed NEC.
  • Another randomized study found that 17% of premature babies fed cow's milk-based formula contracted NEC, compared to 5% of infants fed human breast milk.
  • Children who develop necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) are usually those with premature birth, which can also be a symptom of fetal growth restriction.

Lack of Warning Labels

Despite the wealth of medical knowledge linking bovine milk to an increased risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, Enfamil maker Mead Johnson never included a warning label on their products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explicitly states that baby formula must clearly state any warnings against improper preparation or use.

The deliberate failure to perform this obligation is the basis for Enfamil lawsuits. Similac baby formula, a product made by Abbott Laboratories, is also the cause of some NEC lawsuits.

Enfamil Lawsuit

Enfamil™ formula is a popular baby formula manufactured by Mead Johnson Nutrition. Enfamil NEC lawsuits are cases filed against Mead Johnson for failing to warn consumers of the risk of NEC. Preterm infants that develop necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) may suffer lifelong complications or even die.

There are currently 33 lawsuits against Mead Johnson as of January 2022 in Illinois, where the company is headquartered. These infant formula lawsuits claim that preterm infants fed Enfamil caused NEC and are seeking financial compensation for the damages.

The typical causes of action for these Enfamil lawsuits include:

  • Strict product liability
  • Failure to warn (lack of warning against the risk of NEC)
  • Negligence
  • Breach of warranty
  • Wrongful death lawsuits(if the infant passed away due to NEC)
  • Intentional misrepresentation
  • Negligent misrepresentation

These cases are being combined into a multi-district litigation (MDL) out of the Northern District of Illinois to help speed up the pretrial and settlement processes.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

A premature infant developing NEC does not only lead to an Enfamil baby formula lawsuit. Some parents also file medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors and hospitals that facilitated formula feeding despite knowing the risks.

Doctors are responsible for providing professional medical advice regarding infant formulas. They should be aware of the risks of giving vulnerable premature infants infant formula with cow’s milk. Baby formula manufacturers like Mead Johnson are defending themselves on the basis that pediatricians are responsible for warning parents against cow’s milk.

However, many health care professionals remain unaware of the dangers of giving cow’s milk-based baby formula to preterm infants and low birth weight babies. With that in mind, doctors and hospitals are not always held liable for the damages caused by Enfamil baby formula products.

No Recalls for Enfamil Baby Formula

As of 2022, there have been no recalls for Enfamil products despite the lack of a warning label cautioning consumers of the increased risk of NEC. Enfamil products, including Premature, NeuroPro, and Human Milk Fortifier, are available today.

Enfamil Baby Products With Cow’s Milk

Several Enfamil baby formula products contain bovine milk and may increase the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in premature and low birth weight infants.

These products include:

  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid
  • Enfamil NeuroPro EnfaCare Premature Baby Formula
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder (HCPM)
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 24 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 30 Cal with Iron
  • Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease

How to File an Enfamil Baby Formula Lawsuit

Baby formula lawsuits require specific qualifications. You may be able to sue Mead Johnson if your child was:

  • Fed formula made with bovine milk or milk fortifier products manufactured by Enfamil
  • Diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Born prematurely or with a low birth weight

Talking to a baby formula lawyer is the best way to determine if you have a valid case. They can also help you collect evidence, strengthen your claim, and negotiate settlement amounts.

Damages in Toxic Baby Formula Lawsuits

If your child developed NEC after being fed Enfamil, you might be entitled to seek legal compensation for your family's damages. These may include:

  • Medical expenses: You can receive financial compensation for past and present medical bills associated with treating your child’s NEC. The cost of an emergency procedure to remove the intestine can be prohibitive. In addition, premature babies may need follow-up surgeries as they get older.
  • Pain and suffering: The baby can experience significant pain and discomfort from the infection. Your family may also sue for emotional distress caused by the child’s illness.
  • Lost wages: Your family may be paid for income lost from missing work to care for the child.
  • Wrongful death: Nearly one out of three premature babies who develop NEC will die from the condition. If that happens, your family can receive wrongful death damages as well.

Speak with a law firm to discuss your legal options. You may also be able to file a survival action to recover for the suffering your baby endured.

The Statute of Limitations

Under state and federal law, the parents of the infant party (plaintiff) must file a claim with the defendant (responsible company) within a specified period of time. This time frame is generally 2 years from the baby’s NEC diagnosis. The defendant must respond to the complaint and either agree to pay damages or deny responsibility for damages.

This action is more about filing an NEC lawsuit. If the company denies the claims, parents can file a lawsuit in court. Your lawyer would need to investigate your case. Then, the law firm would draft a complaint filed with the court, beginning the legal process in your case.

According to data, approximately 95% of all civil lawsuits involving contaminated baby formula are resolved through negotiated settlements outside of court. Only a tiny percentage of the remaining cases are ever presented at trial. It is crucial to use baby formula lawyers who have honed negotiation skills to maximize the amount you are entitled to receive.

Breast Milk Is the Best for Babies

As much as possible, ensure that your child is fed only human milk, especially if they are premature. Compared to formula, the nutrients in human milk are more easily absorbed by your baby. Human milk also contains the key nutrients essential for your child’s brain growth and development.

Mother’s milk is less likely to cause NEC. Premature babies fed breast milk are less likely to develop the disease than infants given preterm formula. Mother’s milk proves to be effective against sepsis and infection, which are the complications of NEC.

If you are at risk for premature birth, ask your doctor about any preventative measures you can take during your pregnancy. It may help boost your fetus’s health and decrease the risk of lung and intestinal issues often associated with premature births.

Finding an Attorney for Your NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit

Did your child develop NEC after being fed Enfamil baby formula? If so, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC. will review your case and advise you of your legal rights and options. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

Our law firm can help you file your Enfamil baby formula lawsuit to receive the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call (800) 424-5757 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free case review today.

All information you and your loved ones share with our law firm will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.

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