Baby Formula Contributing to NEC

New lawsuits are being filed in regards to baby formula from brands like Enfamil and Similac causing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature babies. The cow’s milk and human milk fortifiers in the blends of formula are said to put babies at an elevated risk to develop this gastrointestinal problem. 

Symptoms of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)

According to the Cleveland Clinic, NEC usually develops approximately two weeks after birth in premature babies only, “the condition inflames intestinal tissue, causing it to die. A hole may form in your baby’s intestine. Bacteria can leak into the abdomen or bloodstream through the hole.” 

There are four types of necrotizing enterocolitis that can affect premature babies, including: classic, transfusion-associated, atypical, and term infant. In suits filed in this case, classic necrotizing enterocolitis would be the correct condition.

The symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Changes in heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and temperature
  • Diarrhea with bloody stool
  • Lethargy
  • Green or yellow vomit
  • Refusing to eat
  • Lack of weight gain 

NEC is generally a common gastrointestinal illness that can affect 1 in 1,000 premature babies. If not treated soon enough or properly, NEC can cause multiple different intestinal infections and disorders.

Lawsuits Filed Against Baby Formula Companies

The two manufacturers of baby formula causing NEC are Similac and Enfamil. There is also an outlying case against Abbott for their now recalled formula. The lawsuits are a complaint against the two companies for not supplying a warning in regards to the potential the formulas have to form NEC in premature babies.

The following products from Similac and Enfamil that have been identified in the current 97 lawsuits include:

  • Similac Special Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Alimentum
  • Similac Alimentum Expert Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
  • Similac Special Care 20
  • Similac Special Care 24
  • Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Similac Special Care 30
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein- Concentrated Liquid
  • Enfacare Powder
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Liquid High Protein
  • Enfamil Milk Fortifier Liquid Standard Protein
  • Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare
  • Enfamil Premature 20 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal/fl oz HP
  • Enfamil Premature 30 Cal
  • Enfamil 24 and DHA & ARA Supplement

It has been noted that none of the above products included a warning on their label to advise parents of premature babies the risk involved in providing their child the formula. 

Legal Rights of Those Affected By Formula Causing NEC

If you or a loved one with a premature baby is affected by NEC due to the above baby formulas, you may be able to receive compensation for damages.

In order to see if your case qualifies for a lawsuit, there are key points to keep in mind:

  • Your baby was born prematurely
  • Your baby was fed Similac or Enfamil products while in the hospital
  • Your baby received a diagnosis of NEC and the above symptoms following intake of the baby formula products listed

If your case is one that can be pursued, compensation can be won for damages like: cost of current, future, or past medical care, pain and suffering, lost income or earning diminished capacity due to childcare, injuries or disability caused to infants, and potentially wrongful death.

Retaining a law firm to assist with filing and following through with a lawsuit can be extremely beneficial to you and your case. Finding a law firm that has experience with mass tort actions, class action lawsuits, or other complicated litigation can also be beneficial to the outcome of your case.

2 Cited Research Articles

Our writers follow rigorous sourcing guidelines and cite only trustworthy sources of information, including peer-reviewed journals, court records, academic organizations, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports and interviews with qualified experts.

  1. 1.

    Altobelli, Emma, et al. “The Impact of Human Milk on Necrotizing Enterocolitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Nutrients, no. 5, MDPI AG, May 2020, p. 1322. Crossref, doi:10.3390/nu12051322.

  2. 2.

    “Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC): What Is It, Causes & Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

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