Infant nutrition is crucial, as it lays the foundation for the baby’s health. Most parents count on baby formula to ensure that their babies get the necessary nutrients. But in recent times, Similac, the baby formula brand, along with others like Enfamil, has been on the news headlines for all the incorrect reasons.
Both brands are facing the accusation of not being able to warn doctors and customers of the chances of infants developing NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis) as an after-effect of consuming baby formula products.
The parents of suffering, deceased, and sick infants from across the globe are filing lawsuits against both Similac and Enfamil manufacturers. For some parents, things have gone out of hand. Hence, it seems necessary for parents to be aware of NEC symptoms so that they can ensure that their babies don’t have lifelong complications.
In this article, we will delve into NEC, and the dangers caused by it. Additionally, we will also look into the legal scenario surrounding it and what parents can do to ensure that their babies don’t get this disease and live well.
NEC results in inflammation in the large and small intestines of newborn babies. Almost any baby is at risk of this disease. However, prematurely born infants or those who are ill tend to be affected by NEC more.
This debilitating disease causes inflammation and can result in many complications, like intestinal tissue death, organ issues, nutrient malabsorption, bowel obstruction, feeding challenges, bacterial overgrowth, and vitamin deficiencies. The bacteria can make it to the intestinal holes and result in fatal infections, like sepsis.
Typically, the medical treatments to combat NEC include surgery and antibiotics. Doctor’s work by taking out a specific part of the baby’s bowel and then looking for holes in the intestinal tract. However, the babies are kept in the hospital for as much time as is required for treatment and observation. Once the babies maintain a stable weight and can eat well, they are allowed to go home.
NEC Lawsuits: The Legal Landscape
An AboutLawsuits.com report in October 2023 states that in 2022 all the Enfamil and Similac lawsuits that got filed at the federal court systems have been consolidated before Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, a U.S. District Judge in the Northern District of Illinois, as a part of MDL.
Judge Pallmeyer, as a part of the litigation management team, developed an NEC lawsuit “bellwether’ module. It started with 12 complaints that were made against two baby formula manufacturers. These claims had to go through a ‘case-specific discovery’, after which the group had been shaped into eight. In October, Judge Pallmeyer issued an order that listed the final four cases, where the defendants and plaintiffs would serve as the initial bellwether trials.
Both sides could select two cases from the previous pool for bellwether trials, to be placed in front of the juries at the federal level. Two lawsuits had named Mead Johnson and Abbott as the defendants, one made Abbott the sole defendant, and the other Mead Johnson the sole defendant. All these lawsuits were about infants who died because of problems caused by baby formula ingestion.
The lawsuit that was filed only against Abbott Laboratories was by Erika Mar, who accused the brand of the wrongful death of RaiLee, her daughter, who was prematurely born. She died because of NEC resulting from cow’s milk-based infant formula by Similac while at the NICU. On the other hand, the complaint against Mead Johnson in June 2022 was made by Alexis Inman, who also lost her child.
Furthermore, the two lawsuits that named both companies comprise one that was filed by Deondrick W. Brown, Junior’s parents, because of wrongful death caused by NEC. The incident happened when the infant was fed with Enfamil and Similac products for slightly more than two months.
The other lawsuit was filed by Keosha Diggs from Maryland in September 2022. Her son K.B. did survive NEC after consuming Enfamil and Similac baby formula products but experienced severe complications that required life-saving surgeries that will lead to prolonged health issues throughout the infant’s life.
Therefore, if your baby has also been affected by baby formula products, you too can file your Enfamil or Similac lawsuit. To do that, you must get in touch with a lawyer who can guide you through the legal process and ensure that you don’t make any mistakes that cancel out your chances of compensation.
TorHoerman Law states that parents should present their lawyers with every piece of valid and crucial evidence to prepare a solid case. Typically, it includes incident reports, medical records, product testing outcomes, and customer complaints. The compensation that they receive can cover the medical expenses and other costs that they had to undergo to treat their babies.
Ways To Prevent NEC
The initiatives to reduce the severity or frequency of NEC are all aimed at bringing down the exploration of all the risk factors. Because the disease affects mostly preterm infants, preventing preterm birth is one of the best ways to reduce NEC incidence. The medical community is working to realize this goal.
That aside, antenatal corticosteroids can minimize respiratory distress syndrome in infants. It also curbs the chances of NEC, retinopathy of prematurity, and intraventricular hemorrhage. This is effective for women who might have a preterm delivery within 7 days.
Last but not least, women should resort to breastfeeding instead of counting on baby formula products. It is one of the best ways to ensure that the baby gets the desired nutrition. And for any deficiencies, the doctors can look for other alternatives that don’t involve the baby formula products. Hence, pregnant women need to exercise caution and ensure that they take all measures that don’t result in NEC in their infants.
To wrap up, cases of NEC and its hazards have been present across the globe. Several parents have shared their complaints and are waiting to receive the compensation and justice they deserve. The increasing lawsuits are effective in raising awareness about the adverse health hazards of baby formula products for infants. But if your baby is suffering from NEC, you need to get a medical check-up that validates the connection, and then opt for legal assistance.