If your baby drank Similac or Enfamil baby formula and developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), contact Tamaki Law right now to learn whether you’re eligible for a mass tort lawsuit. You might be entitled to compensation from the company responsible for your child’s disease.
NEC is the most common intestinal disease premature babies develop. It’s a serious medical condition resulting from intestinal tissue injury or inflammation. It can cause the death of the intestinal tissue. Additionally, a hole could form in the wall of the affected part of the intestine.
Claims have been made that the manufacturers knew about the risks of feeding premature infants a bovine-based formula. Instead of including the dangers on warning labels, they chose not to disclose them. Enfamil and Similac baby formulas can wreak havoc on a newborn’s intestinal system, leading to NEC diagnosis.
Tamaki Law has fought for our clients since 1994. We’re ready to represent you in your mass tort case against a negligent manufacturing company. You will have a knowledgeable and trusted legal team by your side to advocate for your rights.
Call Tamaki Law at (800) 801-9564 today for your free consultation with one of our mass tort attorneys.
Common Symptoms of Necrotizing Enterocolitis
NEC is an intestinal disease that occurs in premature babies. It begins to develop when tissue in the large or small intestine’s inner lining suffers damage and starts to die. This leads to intestinal inflammation.
Severe cases of NEC cause a perforation in the intestinal wall. Waste and bacteria can leak into the abdomen and travel through the bloodstream. This often results in a severe and widespread infection.
The most common symptoms of NEC include:
- Discoloration of the abdomen
- Bloated or swollen abdomen
- Bloody stools
- Poor feeding
Babies with NEC might also exhibit additional signs of infection, such as:
- Apnea or disrupted breathing
Typically, infants born before 32 weeks of gestation develop necrotizing enterocolitis. However, babies carried to full term could also suffer from this disease. Tissue death and intestinal inflammation can start as soon as a newborn is two to four weeks old.
Complications Associated with NEC
A premature baby with NEC could face a range of complications, such as:
- Intestinal stricture – Intestinal stricture commonly develops a few months after recovery from NEC. A stricture is a narrowing of an area of the intestine. Surgery might be necessary to open the intestine for food to pass through.
- Abdominal infection – If a hole forms in the wall of the intestine, bacteria can enter the abdominal cavity. Peritonitis could develop, increasing the risk of sepsis.
- Short bowel syndrome – Infants have trouble absorbing the fluids and nutrients they need to grow when areas of the small intestine become damaged or destroyed. Tube feedings could help provide the baby with adequate nutrition.
- Delays in growth and development – Poor neurodevelopmental outcomes and developmental delays could occur if a baby needs surgery to treat NEC.
Treatment Options for NEC
The treatment plan your doctor recommends will depend on your baby’s overall medical history, how far the infection has spread, and how prematurely they were born. The most common NEC treatments include:
- Stopping feedings
- Taking X-rays of the affected areas regularly to monitor the disease
- Administering extra oxygen or a breathing machine if the infant’s belly is too swollen for independent breathing
- Inserting a tube into the stomach through the nose to keep the stomach empty by removing fluids
- Treating the infection with antibiotics
- Providing fluids intravenously to maintain hydration and nourishment
Typically, it takes between five and seven days to get rid of the infection. However, if symptoms don’t improve or there’s a hole in the intestine, surgery might be necessary to remove ruptured areas of the intestines and dead tissue.
Baby Formula Linked to NEC
The U.S. Surgeon General issued a Call to Action supporting mothers who breastfeed their babies. Researchers have studied the effects of cow milk-based formula on infants. In 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics published research concluding breastfeeding and human milk can reduce a premature baby’s risk of NEC.
Abbot Laboratories, Inc. and Mead Johnson Nutrition are defendants in mass tort cases across the country. Despite the risks of giving baby formula to preemies, these companies sold their products to hospitals and consumers.
Brands involved in NEC baby formula lawsuits include:
- Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 24 Cal with Iron
- Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier
- Similac Special Care 24
- Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 30 Cal with Iron
- Similac Human Milk Fortifier
- Enfamil 24 Cal Infant Formula
- Similac Special Care 20
- Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 20 Cal with Iron
- Similac Human Mil Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein Concentrated Liquid
- Similac NeoSure
- Enfamil 24 Cal Infant Formula
- Similac Special Care 30
- Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
- Enfamil NeoPro EnfaCare Infant Formula
- Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
- Similac Alimentum Expert Care
Call Tamaki Law immediately if you gave your baby any of the formulas above and noticed symptoms of NEC. You should also discuss alternate nutritional options for your baby with your doctor.
Compensation Available in a Mass Tort Lawsuit
A mass tort lawsuit involves multiple plaintiffs with similar injuries consolidating their cases against one defendant. The court does not award compensation to each plaintiff equally. The amount of everyone’s financial award will depend on the circumstances of their individual lawsuits.
When you join a mass tort case, you can pursue compensation for the losses you suffered, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Mental anguish
Some infants fully recover from NEC, while others suffer long-term medical problems. According to statistics cited by the Cleveland Clinic, an estimated eight out of ten babies diagnosed with NEC survive.
If your baby died from complications of the disease, you could pursue a wrongful death claim. The compensation you receive could compensate you for losses such as:
- Final medical expenses
- Loss of care, love, and affection
- Funeral and burial costs
If your baby was diagnosed with NEC or started exhibiting any symptoms of the disease, contact Tamaki Law today. Our Washington mass tort lawyers are available to review your case and determine whether you are entitled to compensation from the manufacturer.
Call us at (800) 801-9564 for your free consultation.