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NEC Lawsuits 2024- The Voice for the Voiceless Preemies

by | May 22, 2024 | Product liability

Are you expecting parents or new parents?

Is your baby formula fed?

This blog will definitely be a lightning bolt for you.

Before that, let us put forward a disclaimer; through this blog, our intention is not to discredit the baby formula companies or put the parents in a dilemma. Let this piece of write-up help you choose the best for your tiny tots and keep them healthy.

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LezDo TechMed’s latest blog on NEC lawsuits revolves around the NEC baby formula lawsuit 2022 and its updates. Our extensive experience in medical record reviews supports the attorney community in the current injury claims and product liability lawsuits like NEC claim.

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What is NEC in babies?

Injury or inflammation that occurs in the intestines of infants is called as NEC-Necrotizing Enterocolitis. This, in turn, may cause perforation in the intestinal tissues and, ultimately, death of intestinal tissue. Once the tissue is perforated, it increases the risk of harmful bacteria entering the intestine, leading to severe complications.

When does NEC usually occur?

Necrotizing Enterocolitis is caused under the following circumstances.

  • Preterm birth.
  • Intestinal infections in infants.
  • Intestinal injury.
  • Formula feeding.
  • The outbreak in NICU units where critical care is given to infants.

Let us take your attention to the first and last causes of NEC, formula feeding, and preterm birth.

Researches point out that this gastrointestinal emergency is inversely correlated to gestational age and birth weight. NEC tends to affect infants born before 28 weeks of gestation, and more than 11% of infants born at birth weights below 750 grams are vulnerable to NEC.

Reports on NEC suggest that breastfed babies are less susceptible to this intestinal disease when compared to babies fed with formula milk.

Can full-term babies get NEC?

Is this the query haunting you right now? The answer is yes.

Full-term babies who have completed the gestation and born can also be affected by NEC under certain situations. They are

  • Birth defects.
  • Congenital heart conditions.
  • Gastroschisis, a condition where the intestines form outside the body.
  • Birth asphyxia- deprivation of oxygen during birth.

What are symptoms of NEC?

This blog does not constitute any medical advice, and the medical facts are discussed just for your better comprehension of NEC lawsuits. Kindly don’t come to a self-diagnosis.

The most common NEC symptoms are as follows.

  1. Poor tolerance of feeding.
  2. Stomach bloating or swelling.
  3. Stomach discoloration, usually bluish or reddish
  4. Pain while touching the abdomen.
  5. Diarrhea
  6. Vomiting greenish-yellow liquid
  7. Bloody stools.
  8. Trouble breathing and reduced heart rate.
  9. Tiredness and low activity level.
  10. Episodes of low heart rate or apnea, a temporary stop in breathing

In the early and less severe stages of NEC, the condition can be diagnosed with an X-ray or blood test and treated with antibiotics and IV fluids. In complicated situations where intestinal perforation and fatal infections occur, ventilation support may be needed for the infants. Nasogastric drainage is also given, along with circulatory support.

When the intestinal tissue is decayed and dead, it demands surgery to remove the dead intestinal tissue. This can often lead to many other complications like short gut syndrome, where the body cannot absorb enough food nutrients.

Now you would have understood the pathology of Necrotizing Enterocolitis. Let’s now move on to the matter at hand, infant formula NEC lawsuits.

What is NEC lawsuit?

NEC lawsuits are linked to the bovine-based baby formulas substituting breast milk. The NEC class action lawsuit or toxic baby formula lawsuit comprises the fatal effects of certain baby formula brands on preterm babies.

Parents who gave their premature baby Similac or Enfamil and later learned their child had NEC may be entitled to compensation by filing Similac and Enfamil NEC lawsuits.

Studies report that premature infants are at a higher risk of developing NEC because of their underdeveloped immune systems and intestine. Bovine-based infant formulas cause inflammation in the bowel leading to NEC and other complications.

But why infant formula?

It is a huge matter of controversy all around the world.

Infant formulas are mainly used for preterm babies to supplement them with additional nutrients to boost their growth and development. Mothers with lactation problems related to preterm delivery also rely on infant formulas to feed the preemies. Working moms, moms with certain health issues, etc., may also depend on formula feeding.

Are you a formula-feeding mom? Don’t be sorry about it; formula feeding does not make you a bad mom. Just be conscious of what you feed.

Thousands of babies in the US develop NEC each year. According to a 2019 study, between 20 and 40% of NEC cases in the US require surgery, and regrettably, between 20 and 67% of NEC cases result in death. Infants who survive NEC may have a reduced growth rate and experience severe complications like cerebral palsy, visual defects, hearing, cognitive and psychomotor impairment.

The shocking results of all the research validating the connection between infant formulas and preemies are the basis for NEC baby formula lawsuits in the US.

Which formulas are in the lawsuit?

NEC formula lawsuit involves the top infant formula brand in the United States- Similac from Abbott and Enfamil from Mead Johnson. These corporate sharks jointly control about 40% of the infant formula market in the United States.

Plaintiffs in the Enfamil and Similac lawsuits sue Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories, respectively. They argue that these firms knew or should have known that their infant formula products could result in necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants.

What baby formula is linked to NEC? The brands mentioned in Similac and Enfamil NEC lawsuits include:

  • Similac Special Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Alimentum
  • Similac Alimentum Expert Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
  • Similac Special Care 20
  • Similac Special Care 24
  • Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
  • Similac Special Care 30
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein- Concentrated Liquid
  • Enfacare Powder
  • 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 Premature 20 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal/fl oz HP
  • Enfamil Premature 30 Cal
  • Enfamil 24 and DHA & ARA Supplement

NEC Lawsuits Update 2022

The NEC lawsuits started their journey as medical malpractice lawsuits filed by the parents against the physicians and hospitals who recommended the products. Some parents continue to bring individual medical negligence lawsuits against doctors and hospitals.

Because Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson have their corporate headquarters in Chicago, Illinois has become a popular location for NEC lawsuits. All the NEC lawsuits are joined into an MDL in the Northern District of Illinois before Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer.

Less than 100 lawsuits were filed in the Enfamil and Similac class action lawsuit in federal court in Illinois as of August 2022. That class action, however, is anticipated to expand swiftly.

The first round of bellwether test trials will involve selecting 12 cases from a pool. The attorneys will list twelve NEC lawsuits as potentially ready for trial. This would involve an equal number of lawsuits naming both Abbott and Mead Johnson as defendants jointly or separately.

Following the selection of these 12 cases, the NEC lawsuit attorneys will proceed with the pretrial discovery procedures, such as depositions and interrogatories.

The plaintiffs accuse the manufacturers of deceptive marketing, pointing out that they had used coupons, free samples, and false information to deceive mothers into thinking their infant formula products were safe.

In December 2022,  nine additional NEC instances involving infant formula were added to the NEC baby formula lawsuit 2022.

NEC Lawsuits Update 2023

As of January 2023, there were 97 active cases in the NEC formula MDL. The scientific proof that their formulas based on cow’s milk increased the incidence of NEC in premature infants was well known to Abbott and Mead. The plaintiffs sued the defendants on the following grounds in both Similac NEC lawsuits and Enfamil class action lawsuits.
  • Strict product liability
  • Failure to warn
  • Negligence
  • Intentional misrepresentation
  • Negligent misrepresentation
  • Breach of warranty
  • Wrongful death lawsuits

In general, there is a 1- to a 4-year statute of limitations for product liability claims, which applies to the NEC lawsuit statute of limitations too. NEC Lawyers encourage parents to save receipts, proof of purchase, formula packing, or boxing as evidence in a future case involving the baby formula.

NEC Lawsuits Update 2024

As of January 2024, 50 new cases were added to the NEC preterm infant formula class action MDL, making the current pending case total up to 339.

How much is your NEC lawsuit worth?

NEC baby formula lawsuit lawyers estimate that the lawsuit will settle for an average of $300,000 to $800,000 per victim. It is a predicted amount as none of the NEC baby formula lawsuits have been resolved amicably or gone to trial. As of now, it is hard for the NEC baby formula lawsuit lawyers to speculate on how much are parents getting for NEC lawsuits.

The following are the damages covered by the NEC infant formula lawsuit.

  • Medical expenses.
  • Out-of-pocket costs.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Funeral expenses if the product resulted in the death of the infant.

Enfamil and Similac have not been recalled even though their packages provide no warning label about an increased risk of NEC.

In February 2022, a few moms complained that their Enfamil products contained flour instead of infant formula, and the products were tampered with. In response, the FDA issued a sporadic retail recall for a possible bacterial illness.

After four newborns were admitted to the hospital, Abbott Nutrition’s Alimentum, Similac, and EleCare were recalled in the United States.

In July 2022, Mead Johnson & Company agreed to an $8.4 million class action lawsuit settlement for deceptively marketing Enfamil baby formula products as able to make more servings than is realistic. The lawsuit was filed when the consumers realized that they were overpaying for Enfamil products believing they would get more servings of formula than they did.

The settlement provides label modifications for Enfamil to more accurately reflect the serving size of the products in addition to financial compensation. This lawsuit’s exclusion and objection period ends on September 15, 2022. On September 22, 2022, the settlement’s final approval hearing is due. Class members must submit a valid claim form by October 31, 2022, to be eligible for a payout from the Enfamil settlement.

The settlement mentioned above indicates the hunger for the profit of trusted brands. It has triggered Similac and Enfamil to campaign even for expecting mothers with free product samples.

NEC Lawsuits Update 2023

In march 2023, a research study indicated taht there is  no vital differences in the occurance of necrotizing enterocolitis between preterm infants under an exclusive human milk diet and those who received bovine milk formula and fortifiers. This is an important finding that may twist the destiny of NEC lawsuits in 2023.

In April 2023, the pool of 12 bellwether candidate cases in the NEC MDL went through case-specific fact discovery and the same cases would go to trial.

In May 2023, parents who purchased allegedly contaminated Similac baby formula have had their claims for economic harm denied by an Illinois federal judge. The ruling was reached because the plaintiffs were unable to demonstrate that the specific formula they purchased was tainted with bacteria.

As of July 18,2023, there were a total of 191 cases pending in the NEC MDL. In September 2023, the number of cases piled up to 263. The NEC MDL has almost tripled in terms of numbers since the start of 2023.

“Infancy is a vulnerable stage of development; therefore, it’s not enough that babies receive good care, the care must be excellent”.

Many new parents who trusted these corporates ended up tolling the lives of their young children. The toxic baby formula NEC lawsuits are still in their infancy, waiting for more twists and turns in NEC lawsuit settlement.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released an updated opinion statement advising parents to avoid infant formula when human breast milk is a choice as the number of NEC lawsuits against formula manufacturers rises. However, that’s not a solution for many mothers.

NEC Lawsuits Update 2024

As of January 2024, there are now 339 total cases in NEC lawsuits. Want to know more about Enfamil lawsuit 2024 and Similac lawsuit 2022? Stick around with us. We are geared up to serve our clients with medical chart reviews for NEC lawsuits. How long will the NEC lawsuit last?

Let’s wait and watch NEC lawsuit 2024. Follow us on Pinterest for trending posts.

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