Is your child a victim of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)? Most of the victims of necrotizing enterocolitis, also known as NEC, are premature infants. Because commercial infant formula products have been directly linked to NEC, if your own child has developed NEC, you should consult at once with a California product liability attorney.
For several years, the manufacturers of baby formula products have been targeted with lawsuits – filed by parents in a number of states – which claim that particular baby formula products are a direct cause of necrotizing enterocolitis in newborns and particularly in premature infants.
What should parents know about necrotizing enterocolitis? When should parents contact a California baby formula lawyer? What are the most recent developments in the product liability cases that so many parents are now bringing against infant formula manufacturers?
What Should Parents Know About NEC?
Prematurely born infants need additional nutrition for proper growth and development, but many of these children are unable to breastfeed. Baby formula is usually substituted when a child cannot breastfeed. Enfamil and Similac are the best-selling infant formula brands.
Enfamil and Similac add nutrients and other ingredients to cow’s milk so that it simulates human breast milk. However, a number of studies have now demonstrated that cow’s milk-based baby formulas substantially increase the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis for prematurely born infants.
Necrotizing enterocolitis is most likely to develop in babies born before 32 weeks gestation, but full-term babies can also develop NEC. In full-term babies, necrotizing enterocolitis usually develops within two to four weeks after birth.
Necrotizing enterocolitis is a life-threatening bacterial infection that develops in a child’s gastrointestinal system. Without immediate proper treatment, necrotizing enterocolitis may lead to peritonitis, sepsis, and death.
Why Are Parents Taking Legal Action?
Many parents of premature infants who received baby formula in a hospital are bringing lawsuits against Abbott Laboratories (the manufacturer of Similac) and Mead Johnson (the manufacturer of Enfamil) for failing to warn parents and doctors about the risks associated with their products.
The lawsuits claim that Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories knew or should have known about the potential risks of cow’s milk-based baby formulas – particularly the risks of necrotizing enterocolitis, peritonitis, and sepsis – but failed to warn parents and doctors.
Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories reject claims that their formulas are the cause of NEC. The baby formula manufacturers claim that necrotizing enterocolitis occurs “naturally” and may develop in infants whether they are premature or full-term and breastfed or formula-fed.
Who May File an NEC Lawsuit? What Compensation is Available?
If your child developed NEC (or another condition that may be caused by cow’s milk-based baby formulas) after consuming Enfamil or Similac, schedule a consultation at once with a California baby formula lawyer. In these product liability cases, families may recover compensation for:
- the cost of their child’s pending and projected future medical expenses
- the child’s projected future lost earnings and diminished earnings capacity
- the physical pain and mental suffering of both the child and the parents
- other NEC-related losses and damages
- funeral and burial expenses when necrotizing enterocolitis is the cause of wrongful death
What Are Punitive Damages?
In personal injury and product liability cases, punitive damages are rarely awarded to victims or their families. Punitive damages are awarded, not as compensation to victims, but in order to punish intentional wrongdoing or egregious negligence and to prevent it from happening again.
Most personal injury and product liability cases do not involve intentional wrongdoing or egregious negligence by the defendant. Rather, most of these cases involve “simple” negligence, which can generally be defined as merely being forgetful, distracted, or absent-minded.
Can Families Be Awarded Punitive Damages in Baby Formula Cases?
However, in a recent legal development (July 2023) regarding a Maryland parent’s lawsuit against Abbott Laboratories, U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer of the Northern District of Illinois denied Abbott’s motion to dismiss the parent’s punitive damages claim.
The judge found that the charges raised in the claim against Abbott Laboratories are sufficiently alarming to meet Maryland’s high punitive damages standards, which require the plaintiff in a product liability case to prove that a defendant committed a “heinous or torturous” act.
The ruling doesn’t mean the parent’s claim will prevail or that the courts will rule the same way in other cases. However, it does mean that Mead Johnson and Abbott may be ordered to pay substantial punitive damage awards when juries return verdicts in particular baby formula cases.
What Will It Cost Your Family to Win Justice?
If your family is dealing with NEC, the medical bills may already be staggering, but your financial circumstances don’t have to keep you from taking legal action. A product liability lawyer will handle your family’s case on a contingent fee basis, so you will owe no fee to your lawyer until and unless you recover compensation.
An initial case evaluation is also provided without cost or obligation to the families of children who develop necrotizing enterocolitis. That free evaluation is your opportunity to learn how the law applies to your case and to receive sound, personalized legal advice.
However, parents will need to work with a product liability attorney who is familiar with baby formula cases – an attorney who has a record of prevailing on behalf of clients who bring personal injury and product liability claims. How can you find the right baby formula attorney?
Why Should You Choose Frost Law Firm?
It does not matter where you live. If your child has suffered from NEC, there is no need to make an extensive search for a baby formula lawyer. Attorney Scott L. Frost leads a team of lawyers who have substantial experience handling NEC claims throughout the United States.
Frost Law Firm has recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients. We know how to resolve the most complicated product liability cases. We’re proud to offer no-cost consultations with no obligation, and we will speak with you regarding your situation and your legal options.
A California product liability attorney at Frost Law Firm will answer your legal questions and address your family’s concerns. If your product liability claim against Mead Johnson or Abbott Laboratories prevails, your family will recover the compensation you deserve and need.
To find out more about your family’s rights, or to schedule a free case evaluation, contact Frost Law Firm now – by calling 866-FROST-WINS – and let one of our baby formula attorneys go to work on your family’s behalf.