NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit


  • Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is a gastrointestinal disorder that premature infants can suffer that deteriorates the lining of their intestines
  • Cow’s milk-based baby formula, such as Similac and Enfamil, can cause NEC in premature babies
  • Parents of babies who suffered NEC after consuming cow’s milk baby formula can file NEC baby formula lawsuits
  • Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson can be held liable for NEC baby formula lawsuits for manufacturing baby formula that caused NEC
  • There are 290 total NEC baby formula lawsuits as of December 2023

Premature infants who consume cow’s milk-based formula products are at risk of developing a life-threatening health condition. Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is a gastrointestinal condition that can cause inflammation, leading to the deterioration of the lining of the intestine. It can cause lethargy, difficulty breathing, bloody feces, green vomit, and slow heart rate.

The baby formula manufacturers Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson have been held liable for hundreds of product liability lawsuits for their baby formula products causing NEC in premature infants. These NEC baby formula lawsuits have recently consolidated into a multi-district litigation (MDL) before Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer in the Northern District of Illinois.

Why You Should Choose The Russo Firm to Help With Your NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit

The product liability lawyers at The Russo Firm can use their vast experience helping others who suffered medical conditions from dangerous products to help with your NEC baby formula lawsuit. The Enfamil and Similac baby formula manufacturers, Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson failed to warn of the dangers of their products adequately.

Our product liability attorneys can help you hold them accountable for their negligence in failing to warn about their baby formula causing NEC in premature infants. They can use their expertise to help you develop a personalized legal counsel plan that can put you in the best position to recover fair economic and non-economic damages.

They can also help you file the necessary paperwork and handle the proper steps to get involved in the NEC baby formula multi-district litigation (MDL). We understand how stressful this process can be and would like to provide our experience to guide you smoothly. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help with your lawsuit.

What is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?

Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) is a severe gastrointestinal disorder that can affect newborn infants. It occurs in the intestinal tract when the intestine’s lining becomes inflamed and deteriorates. Not much is known about the cause of NEC, but many doctors suggest it can come from decreased blood flow to the bowel.

This can cause the bowel not to create mucus that can protect the gastrointestinal tract, leading to the tissue in the intestinal wall dying. This medical condition is more likely to affect a premature baby. According to the Cleveland Clinic, around one in every thousand premature infants suffers from NEC, whereas only one in ten thousand full-term infants experience NEC.

Symptoms of NEC in Infants

Parents must stay wary of the signs and symptoms of NEC, as their newborn infants can show these signs in their first two to three weeks of life. This gastrointestinal medical condition can cause life-threatening health effects, as the disorder has a 25% death rate.

The following are some signs and symptoms of NEC in newborn infants:

  • Lethargy
  • Bloody feces
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Refusing to eat food
  • Unusually rapid or slow heart rate
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Green vomit
  • Fever

After identifying the signs of NEC in a newborn infant, a parent should take their child to a healthcare professional. They can diagnose the gastrointestinal disorder and begin medical treatment, including antibiotic therapy, intravenous fluids, or surgery. This treatment can help to prevent the wrongful death of a parent’s newborn infant.

How Can Baby Formula Cause NEC in Infants?

Many premature babies have been developing NEC lately because of cow’s milk-based baby formulas, such as Enfamil and Similac. This is because the linings of their intestines are not fully developed. Their bodies are unprepared for the cow’s milk formula, which can lead to bacteria from the formula causing NEC.

When baby formula deteriorates the lining of the intestines, premature babies can struggle to fight off bacteria. This can lead to them suffering infections that can cause life-threatening effects. Premature babies have underdeveloped immune systems that cannot fight off infections, leading to organ and neurological damage in a crucial stage of their development.

Who Can File an NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit?

Parents of premature infants who develop NEC after consuming cow’s milk baby formula can file NEC baby formula lawsuits. The baby formula had a negative effect on their baby’s health and caused the gastrointestinal disorder that is affecting their health. Parents can file NEC baby formula lawsuits to hold at-fault parties accountable for their negligence.

Manufacturers, designers, and sellers of baby formula that cause NEC can share liability in NEC baby formula lawsuits. Parents can file a lawsuit and hold any party who contributed to their baby suffering NEC accountable for their negligence. After filing a lawsuit, they must be able to prove the at-fault party owed a duty of care they breached and caused damages as a result.

What Baby Formula Products Have Caused NEC?

The baby formula products that have caused NEC in premature infants are Similac and Enfamil. These cow’s milk-based baby formula products can cause internal damage to premature babies that can result in them suffering NEC. The dangerous gastrointestinal disorder can expose babies to significant health issues that can possibly cause death.

The following are the baby formula products that can cause NEC:

  • Similac Special Care
  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Alimentum
  • Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
  • Similac Special Care 20
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Liquid High Protein
  • Enfacare Powder
  • Enfamil Premature 30 Cal
  • Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare

What Baby Formula Manufacturers Can Be Held Liable for NEC Lawsuits?

Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson are the manufacturers of Similac and Enfamil. They failed to warn parents and doctors about the potentially harmful effects their products can have on premature babies. There are no warnings on Enfamil or Similac about possibly causing NEC in premature babies.

For this reason, Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson can share liability in an NEC baby formula lawsuit. So far, both of these manufacturers have been named in NEC baby formula lawsuits filed in court. Parents who discover their premature babies have suffered NEC can follow suit and file a product liability lawsuit with Abbott Laboratories or Mead Johnson.

NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits Consolidated Into an MDL

A multi-district litigation (MDL) is when multiple lawsuits pertaining to similar incidents, defendants, and facts consolidate before one judge in one jurisdiction. This is done to lessen the stress in the court system handling hundreds or thousands of similar lawsuits.

In April 2022, the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) decided to consolidate all NEC baby formula lawsuits before Honorable Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer in the Northern District of Illinois. This means that all NEC baby formula lawsuits will transfer to this district to join the other hundreds of NEC baby formula lawsuits in the MDL.

This consolidation can help plaintiffs who have filed NEC baby formula lawsuits. It can streamline the discovery process, allow plaintiffs to share resources with each other, and give plaintiffs the opportunity to recover compensation for their specific damages from a global settlement.

What Damages Can You Pursue for an NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit?

Parents whose premature infants suffer NEC because of Similac or Enfamil can file product liability lawsuits to pursue compensation for damages. These are losses that someone can suffer due to a health condition caused by another party’s negligence. Damages in a product liability lawsuit can affect a party’s physical health, finances, and quality of life.

There are two types of damages someone can pursue in an NEC baby formula lawsuit: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are losses that have a financial value or have bills attached to them. Non-economic damages are intangible losses without a financial value but have a significant effect on a person’s mental health and quality of life.

The following are some damages you could pursue through a NEC baby formula lawsuit:

Why Should You Hire a Product Liability Lawyer to Help With Your NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit?

The process of joining the NEC baby formula MDL and pursuing compensation for damages can be difficult for those without product liability experience. Parents trying to pursue financial restitution for their infant’s severe medical condition likely will not have the legal experience to handle the lawsuit process without making a mistake that can affect their compensation.

Hiring a lawyer to help with an NEC baby formula lawsuit can give parents the best chance to recover fair compensation for their children’s damages. They can use their experience and expertise to advise parents on the best steps to take to join the NEC baby formula MDL and pursue compensation for damages through a global settlement.

The following are some ways a product liability lawyer can help with your NEC baby formula lawsuit:

  • Calculate the value of your lawsuit
  • Assess who the liable party is
  • Explain your state’s product liability laws
  • File the necessary paperwork to join the NEC baby formula MDL
  • Gather evidence to prove the at-fault party’s liability
  • Share resources with the other plaintiffs’ lawyers
  • Keep you updated on the MDL’s progress
  • Help negotiate a settlement to pay for your specific damages

Contact The Russo Firm for Help With Your NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit

At The Russo Firm, our product liability lawyers can use their experience to assist you with your NEC baby formula lawsuit. We understand the life-threatening effect NEC can have on a premature infant and the stress of trying to pursue financial restitution through joining the NEC baby formula lawsuit.

Our product liability attorneys can help simplify the process to allow you to focus on your infant’s health condition. They can inform you of product liability essentials and what steps to take to recover fair compensation for your baby’s damages. Contact us for a free NEC baby formula lawsuit consultation today at (561) 270-0913, or leave a message on our online contact page.

Frequently Asked Questions About NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits

Have Enfamil and Similac Baby Formula Products Been Recalled?

It’s become known through NEC baby formula lawsuits that Enfamil and Similac could potentially cause NEC in premature babies. However, these products have yet to be recalled from the market.

There was a product recall issued in early 2022, but it had nothing to do with causing NEC in premature infants. It concerned batches of contaminated baby formula and manufacturing locations affected by contamination.

Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson suggest that their baby formula products do not present any more risk to premature babies than breast milk. For this reason, they refuse to recall their products.

How Many NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits Are There?

As of December 2023, there are about 290 NEC baby formula lawsuits pending in the MDL in the Northern District of Illinois. In the twenty months since the MDL was formed, over 100 new cases have joined the MDL. In November, 15 new plaintiffs filed NEC baby formula lawsuits to join the MDL.

When Will the Bellwether Trials Begin in the NEC Baby Formula MDL?

Bellwether trials are test trials in mass torts that can show the plaintiffs and defendants how juries will respond to the case’s evidence. Multiple plaintiffs have been selected in the NEC baby formula MDL to have their cases go to bellwether trials.

The four critical cases that have been selected involve wrongful death and severe health complications caused by NEC resulting from baby formula consumption. No trial dates have been set, but it’s believed these trials will begin in 2024. The plaintiffs and defendants may negotiate a global settlement to prevent further trials depending on how these cases go.