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Why Are the Similac and Enfamil Baby Formula Brands Being Sued?

Apr 29, 2022 | Defective Product


Similac and Enfamil baby formula brands are facing lawsuits for failing to warn parents and medical professionals about the risks these formulas can pose to premature infants.

Lawsuits claim that the manufacturers knew or should have known that the cow’s milk-based formulas could cause severe gastrointestinal problems in premature infants. The problems can be so severe that they cause death in these medically-fragile infants.

Details in the Similac and Enfamil Lawsuits

Mead Johnson manufactures Enfamil while Abbott Laboratories manufactures Similac. Lawsuits state that these companies should have known that their products could cause necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) if the formula is given to premature infants.

NEC is a severe ailment in young babies and has been shown to be fatal in as many as 50 percent of cases. The ailment causes intestinal tissue death and inflammation. This can lead to holes in the intestine, which allows bacteria from the intestine to leak into the abdomen or can lead to bleeding that causes deadly blood infections.

Studies as early as 1990 show that feeding cow’s milk-based formula to premature infants can make them 10 times more likely to suffer from NEC.

Despite this research, neither Mead Johnson nor Abbott Laboratories label their baby formula with warnings of these side effects and does not indicate that premature infants should not receive these formulas.

Additionally, both companies marketed their cow’s milk-based formulas as safe for premature infants despite the known impacts that cow’s milk formula can have on these infants. The lawsuits name all types of Similac and Enfamil.

Who Can File a Similac or Enfamil Lawsuit?

Parents whose premature baby was fed Similac or Enfamil baby formula and was then diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis could be eligible for compensation for financial losses and emotional distress from the formula manufacturers.

This case is open and ongoing, meaning you can still file claims in this case. Sometimes, parents are not aware of what formula their infant is being fed while in hospital care. If your baby developed NEC and was fed formula, your attorney can request documentation from the hospital about what formula the baby received. When meeting with an attorney, be prepared to provide information on the hospital your baby was in during his or her care.

If you fed your baby one of these formulas after you left the hospital, you should keep receipts and other proof of purchase, including the formula container as evidence in your case.

The manufacturers have not recalled these infant formulas despite these cases of NEC.

Understanding Product Liability

Product liability protects consumers from dangerous or defective products. These laws apply to product manufacturers and sellers to prevent injuries or ailments throughout the product distribution chain.

Products must be free of these three types of defects.

  1. Design defects: in these cases, the original product design is inherently unsafe for consumers.
  2. Manufacturing defects: during the assembly or manufacturing process something goes wrong that leads to danger or defect in the product.
  3. Marketing flaws: the product is improperly marketed or labeled, or does not provide adequate safety warnings to protect the consumer.

In the case of the Similac and Enfamil lawsuits, it is a marketing defect that is leading to the manufacturer’s liability in this case. The formula should not have been marketed to parents and caregivers of premature infants. And the products should have been labeled with warnings of the risk of NEC in premature infants.

Call or Email Us for a Free Consultation

This year, Stewart & Stewart proudly celebrates our 40th anniversary of treating clients like family. If you have reason to believe your premature baby might have received Enfamil or Similac and suffered from NEC, you should talk to our team at Stewart & Stewart. We offer a free consultation and case evaluation to help you review the details in your case to see if you might be eligible for compensation.

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