Families Affected by Infant Necrotizing Enterocolitis Can Have Their Case Reviewed at No Cost
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious gastrointestinal emergency, particularly for the premature babies who are the individuals primarily at risk for this disease of the intestines. When NEC and the devastating effects it can have on a newborn and their family are caused by the baby formula given to the infant, parents may be able to hold the manufacturer legally accountable.
What to Know About the Baby Formula Lawsuit
Every year, 380,000 babies—nearly 1 in 10 babies overall—are born prematurely in the United States, according to the March of Dimes. As many as 10 percent of these premature infants will develop NEC, according to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and between 25 and 50 percent of cases of necrotizing enterocolitis are fatal, a 2017 article in the journal Advances in Nutrition reported.
Research has linked neonatal NEC risk with the consumption of formula. Most parents—and even many NICU nurses and doctors—are unaware that many popular brands of baby formula are fortified with or otherwise contain cow’s milk, which is not recommended for premature newborns.
Now, the manufacturers of baby formula products that contain cow’s milk are facing lawsuits brought by the heartbroken parents and families of preemies who have suffered serious harm and complications—and, in too many cases, have lost their lives to NEC.
Who Can File NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits?
At this time, the parents and families of infants who suffered serious injuries from NEC may be eligible to pursue a claim against baby formula brands.
Generally, the types of injuries and harms that may entitle a family to compensation include:
- Gastrointestinal or bowel issues such as short bowel syndrome and intestinal stricture, especially when these conditions cause lasting issues
- Neurological conditions
- Cerebral palsy
- Infections, including sepsis and peritonitis
- The need for surgical intervention, including surgery to remove dead and eroded bowel tissue and/or to perform a colostomy or ileostomy
- The preventable death of infants resulting from NEC or its complications
In the lawsuits that are currently moving forward, the baby must have been born prematurely, or before 37 weeks of gestation. The child must have been diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis.
Finally, the baby must have been fed formula that is cow’s milk-based or fortified with cow’s milk. Some of the specific baby formula products that currently are the subject of lawsuits or investigations include:
- Similac Special Care
- Enfamil NeuroPro EnfaCare Infant Formula
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier
A more extensive (though still not necessarily exhaustive) list of formula brands that include milk in at least some—not necessarily all—of their infant formula products is:
- Earth’s Best
- Happy Baby
- Baby’s Only
- Parent’s Choice
- Go & Grow
It might surprise parents to learn how extensively cow’s milk is used in baby formula. Approximately 80 percent of baby formula products contain cow’s milk, according to NPR.
The widespread use of cow’s milk wouldn’t be a bad thing in and of itself if your baby hadn’t been born early, since cow’s milk formula products are generally considered safe for consumption in babies who are born at term. However, for preemies, whose digestive systems are underdeveloped, the consumption of cow’s milk is associated with an increased risk of NEC, according to a research article published in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine in 2020.
The ongoing lawsuits have alleged not only product defects for which, plaintiffs say, the baby formula manufacturers should be held liable, but also “aggressively marketing” of the formula products to parents of preterm infants, according to the Madison-St. Clair Record.
No-Win, No-Fee Help for Families Affected by Infant Necrotizing Enterocolitis
Our personal injury attorneys understand how shattering a neonatal NEC diagnosis can be for your family. What was supposed to have been a joyous time—the birth of your baby—has instead become a time to fear for your baby’s health and even their life. On top of everything else, you’re facing extensive and unexpected medical bills for the treatment of NEC and the complications it has caused.
Your family deserves competent and compassionate legal assistance to guide you through this difficult time.
The extent of your financial resources should never control whether you’re able to get justice for the harm you have endured, but for many families, affording the cost of a lawyer is a big concern. Not knowing if you can afford legal help can be a major obstacle to securing the compensation you deserve. It shouldn’t have to be this way.
It’s true that nothing can erase the struggle your family is going through because of necrotizing enterocolitis. However, together we can hold baby formula makers accountable for any harm they cause while offsetting the financial burden NEC can put on your family.