NEC – necrotizing enterocolitis – is a life-threatening illness that almost exclusively affects premature infants. The mortality rate is about fifty percent. If your child has developed NEC, speak immediately about your family’s options with a California product liability lawyer.
Necrotizing enterocolitis is a bacterial infection that causes intestinal tissue decay and inflammation. It may also cause peritonitis and sepsis. Typically, necrotizing enterocolitis develops at three to twelve days of age, but it may emerge days or even weeks later.
What Should Parents Know About Necrotizing Enterocolitis?
The symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis may include vomiting, a fluctuating heart rate, lethargy, and abdominal swelling and pain. NEC is not an uncommon condition, and it is the number one cause of death for prematurely-born infants who are over two weeks of age.
What Causes NEC?
Some premature infants can’t breastfeed because they’re not strong or big enough. Hospitals frequently substitute commercial baby formulas, but detailed and comprehensive warnings about these products are needed to make sure that parents and doctors are making the right decisions.
Premature infants typically need additional nutrition and care to support their development and compensate for their low birth weight. Baby formula brands such as Similac and Enfamil market their products as safe, nutritional human milk alternatives.
Researchers, however, have consistently demonstrated that commercial, cow’s milk-based baby formulas such as Similac and Enfamil significantly increase a premature infant’s chances of developing necrotizing enterocolitis.
What Are the Effects of NEC?
If detected early, NEC can be treated. Infants who are diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis usually need immediate surgery, and NEC survivors may have lifelong problems with digestion. Those difficulties may include short bowel syndrome, cholestasis, strictures, and adhesions.
If a perforation emerges in the child’s intestine, surgery is required immediately. Necrotizing enterocolitis may narrow, scar, or block the intestine, and multiple surgeries may be needed. Malabsorption, the body’s inability to absorb nutrients correctly, may also be a lifelong condition for NEC survivors.
One medical journal reports that newborns who have consumed cow’s milk-based baby formula are up to ten times more likely to develop necrotizing enterocolitis than babies who have consumed their mother’s breast milk.
Who May File a Necrotizing Enterocolitis Claim?
You can act now to exercise your family’s rights and recover compensation for your child’s necrotizing enterocolitis-related death or lifelong suffering. Even if it happened years ago, your family may be eligible to recover compensation with a product liability claim if your child:
- was born prematurely
- consumed Similac, Enfamil, or another cow’s milk-based baby formula
- was diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis
Are Baby Formula Manufacturers Liable for NEC?
The parents who bring NEC lawsuits against baby formula manufacturers contend that these manufacturers knew or should have known about the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis. They also claim that baby formula companies failed to inform hospitals, doctors, and parents of the risk.
Because dozens of research studies – going back many years – have linked necrotizing enterocolitis to Similac and Enfamil, it is quite likely that these companies were well aware of the risk that commercial, cow’s milk-based baby formulas pose to premature infants.
What Can Parents Do?
No infant should suffer because of a corporation’s negligence. If your infant was fed commercial baby formula and then developed NEC, a California baby formula lawyer will help your family bring a lawsuit to seek compensation for your medical expenses and related losses.
If your infant has consumed a commercial, cow’s milk-based baby formula and developed necrotizing enterocolitis, you must schedule a consultation with a California baby formula lawyer as soon as possible to speak about your family’s legal rights and options.
If your child has passed away after consuming Similac or Enfamil and subsequently developing necrotizing enterocolitis, a product liability attorney can probably file a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer on your behalf.
How Quickly Do Parents Need to Act?
The deadline (statute of limitations) for filing a claim based on NEC varies in each state. In many states, including California, the deadline for product liability claims is two years, while in other states, the deadline is three or four years from the date you learned your child had NEC.
Nevertheless, parents should speak immediately to a product liability attorney. It is essential to have your attorney examine your infant’s medical records before those records can be misplaced, lost, or tampered with, and to meet with any witnesses before their memories start to fade.
If you miss the filing deadline, your case may qualify as an exception to your state’s statute of limitations, or you may have the option of bringing your claim in another state. What is most important if your child developed or passed away due to NEC is speaking to a lawyer at once.
What Will It Cost Your Family to Seek Justice?
Do not let your financial concerns prevent your family from fighting for justice. You may face extraordinary financial pressures as a result of your child’s necrotizing enterocolitis, but those pressures do not have to prevent you from exercising your right to take appropriate legal action.
You will owe a fee to a California product liability lawyer only if you recover compensation from a commercial baby formula manufacturer. An initial case evaluation is also offered without obligation or cost to the parents of infants who have developed necrotizing enterocolitis.
That evaluation will give you personalized legal advice, and you will be making an informed choice about proceeding with a product liability claim. But how can you find an experienced NEC lawyer who will prioritize your case and fight aggressively for your family’s rights?
Frost Law Firm is Here for Your Family
Product liability lawyer Scott L. Frost leads a skilled legal team that has extensive experience fighting for the parents of children with necrotizing enterocolitis. We represent families across the United States, and we’ve recovered millions of dollars in compensation for those families.
The Frost Law Firm team will examine and evaluate your case with no obligation or cost, and we will offer your family sound, specific legal advice. Your questions will be answered, and you will learn what steps to take in order to file a claim against a commercial baby formula manufacturer.
If your lawsuit prevails, you will recover compensation for your family’s medical costs and related damages. Parents can learn more or begin the legal process today by calling Frost Law Firm – at 866-FROST-WINS – and letting one of our lawyers fight for your family’s rights.