NEC, or necrotizing enterocolitis, is a fatal ailment that adversely impacts a premature infant’s intestines. It generally takes place within the initial 2 weeks after birth in babies who were fed with baby formula in place of breast milk.
Once affected by NEC, the bacteria breaks the intestine wall and causes inflammation. After that, it results in a gap or crack, which makes dirty germs leak inside the abdomen. When left untreated, it can lead to severe infection and result in death.
Problems Surrounding Baby Formula
According to a Reuters report, in 2022, an Abbott Laboratories shareholder sued the brand for investor fraud. The shareholder accused the company of not sharing data about security problems prevalent with baby formula.
A Florida pension fund had filed the class action lawsuit at a federal court in Chicago. It aimed at compensating the investor damages for buying Abbott shares. The fund declared that Abbott got to know about the security problems in 2021 via a whistle-blower complaint. They didn’t divulge it till the FDA had declared an investigation concerning the ailments that got reported.
Scott Stoffel, an Abbott spokesperson, declared the lawsuits to be completely meritless. He asserted that the company, along with its management, has acted honestly and been accountable every time. The company further stated that the link between baby formula causing ailments in infants is feeble.
However, considering the increasing lawsuits, Abbott did start a voluntary recall of the infant formula and stopped the manufacturing unit in Sturgis, Michigan. It took place after there was news about severe bacterial infections in infants. To date, Abbott faces litigation from consumers all across the nation for its flawed baby formula that has made many infants suffer from NEC.
Parents in doubt should check for NEC Symptoms in babies first and then take action. According to TorHoerman Law, a personal injury law firm, parents whose children have suffered from NEC due to baby formula can file a lawsuit against brands like Similac and Enfamil. The firm has lawyers who can examine the case at hand and provide online consultation to decide whether they qualify for a claim or not.
TorHoerman Law also lets parents know about the deadline to file a claim. Usually, product liability suits have a 2-year statute of limitation. It indicates that the mother of premature babies and infants with NEC has 2 years from the diagnosis date to file their claim.
The Symptoms of NEC
No one child has the same symptom for NEC. However, broadly the symptoms might include:
- A belly swelling or bloating, often called abdominal distention
- The inability of the intestines to move food after feeding
- Presence of a greenish-color fluid in the baby’s stomach
- Presence of blood in bowel movements
Apart from these symptoms, other crucial infection signs parents should know about are:
- The baby starts and stops to breathe rather suddenly
- Extreme lethargy
- Reduced heart rate
Some of the NEC symptoms might tally with other ailments. Hence, you need to get your child checked by a medical professional to be certain of NEC.
Who Are the Liable Parties in Any NEC Claim?
The formula manufacturers are the potentially liable party in such a claim. There should be a medical facility or doctor accountable for explaining that the baby formula manufacturer knew about the risk in the preterm infant but failed to update the parents.
After that, the personal injury lawyer can assess and analyze the claim to recognize every liable party. When the at-fault parties are held accountable for the harm caused, it can secure other infants and their parents from witnessing the same outcome.
What Can You Expect When You File Lawsuit Against Baby Formula Brands?
If you decide to file a lawsuit against Enfamil, Similac, or any baby formula manufacturer, you will need the correct documentation. It includes:
- Expense receipts
- Medical records
- Medical bills
There is also a need to carry records that show how your child has suffered. You need to show the impact this incident had on your life emotionally, logistically, and financially. When the documentation is established, the lawyer proceeds to build the case. They will draft the complaint, which will get forwarded to the defendants. After that, the lawyers try to work out a fair settlement agreement.
In case the lawyers fail to attain this agreement or find that the other party is not willing to accept the same, they would reach out to the court.
Several babies in the United States suffer from NEC each year, and their families don’t receive justice. NEC can lead to organ dysfunction and affect your kid’s health at a later stage as well.
Medical professionals claim that using breastmilk is safer, and parents should steer clear of baby formula. But if your baby is affected by NEC unknowingly, it is necessary to address it medically and legally.