Wrongful Death Baby Formula Lawsuit Filed Against Mead Johnson Concerning NEC

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In May 2022, a Texas couple filed suit against Mead Johnson & Company over the death of their newborn. The parents allege that their premature infant’s death was caused by necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a dangerous intestinal condition, linked to Enfamil’s cow’s milk-based formula. Their baby was born at only 27 weeks gestation, weighing just over 3 pounds, and was fed donor breast milk for the first seven weeks of life. The baby was then given Enfamil formula and developed NEC shortly thereafter. Upon showing signs of illness—swelling, and grey coloring—the baby underwent an exploratory laparotomy, which is an abdominal surgery performed to diagnose abdominal problems. The baby died from NEC that same day.

The baby’s parents are suing Mead Johnson, contending that the company promoted their cow’s milk-based formulas to parents, physicians, hospitals, and medical providers to be safe products that preterm infants need to grow. The couple, who at the time of their child’s birth was unaware of the link between Enfamil cow’s milk-based formula and NEC when given to premature infants, alleges that Mead Johnson knew of the risks but did not warn parents or medical providers. Plaintiffs note that the company also did not provide any instructions, guidance, or warnings—to which plaintiffs allege Mead Johnson owed a duty to consumers—detailing the risks of NEC or ways to limit the chance of developing the potentially fatal condition.

What Is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?

NEC is a gastrointestinal disorder that mostly affects premature babies. The condition may develop between two and six weeks after birth. It is characterized by inflamed intestinal tissue, which causes the tissue to die. Tiny holes form in the intestinal walls, allowing bacteria to leak into the infant’s abdomen or blood stream. Presence of bacteria can lead to infection or other serious health risks.

NEC in some premature babies can be mild, but for others, it can be fatal. The National Institutes of Health estimates that up to 40% of infants diagnosed with NEC die from the condition.

Baby Formula Lawsuits

The Texas couple joins a large number of other families nationwide that were impacted by Mead Johnson’s alleged negligence in failing to warn parents about the risk of NEC associated with its cow’s milk-based products. Many other parents have filed lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories citing similar claims relating to the company’s Similac brand cow’s milk formulas.

Can I File a Baby Formula Lawsuit?

If your preterm baby was given Enfamil or Similac formula while in the NICU and was diagnosed with NEC that required surgery, caused ongoing problems, or resulted in death, please call our law firm today. For a list of baby formulas that are part of the baby formula lawsuits, please click here.

You may be eligible to file an Enfamil lawsuit or a Similac lawsuit. The attorneys at Grant & Eisenhofer can evaluate your potential claim with you during a free consultation. Our lawyers take cases nationwide. Call us at (888) 984-7988 or fill out our contact form to speak with an attorney about your potential case.

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