Over the years, baby formulas have helped young parents simplify their complicated parenthood journey, especially if it’s a preemie delivery. The need for more proteins and calories for preemies than full-term infants is enough to shed light on the popularity of infant cow-based milk formulas.

Similac and Enfamil have been known as quality products. But it was a few years back in 2021 when the first claim against baby formulas appeared. Parents made it after their newly-born preemie girl passed away.

The diagnosis indicated that it occurred because of NEC, which developed due to the consumption of baby formulas like Enfamil or Similac. Later on, research pieces found that bovine milk-based preemie formulas led to an increase in NEC in preterm infants.

What Happens When a Baby Develops NEC?

NEC, or necrotizing enterocolitis, is a dangerous intestinal disease that may occur in premature infants or low-weight newborns. In this type of disease, bacteria enter the walls of the intestine and cause inflammation. More serious conditions may result in severe infections or fatal death.

After the bacteria destroys the intestinal wall, it tears a portion or causes or hole. As a result, the stool spills into the baby’s abdomen. This results in life-threatening complications like the following:

  • Multi-organ failure
  • Sepsis
  • Severe infections
  • Fatal death

A few infants may also experience life-altering conditions such as the following:

  • Development delays
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy

Types of NEC a Baby May Develop

NEC can be categorized into three types. When a baby consumes preemie formulas, the disease starts developing in their intestine in either of these types:

Atypical

A baby can develop the disease in the very first week of life. That’s called the atypical NEC. It might not be normal for a baby to get diagnosed with this ailment in the first week.

However, there are chances for them to develop the disease due to their health conditions (since they are preterm or low-weight babies and lack nutrition). It might be difficult for them to combat the condition, and as a result, the condition worsens.

Transfusion-Associated

An infant might lack RBC or red blood cells. So, they are called anemic. In short, anemic infants may develop NEC soon after a blood transfusion. If the condition occurs due to the consumption of baby formula, a parent can file a baby formula lawsuit. As per reports, around 20-40% of newborns develop NEC after receiving RBC transfusion within 48 hours. 

Classic

It’s the most common type that may affect preterm infants. Here, NEC develops during three to six weeks after their birth. In maximum instances, the baby might be stable. In most cases, the condition is affected without any symptoms.

Is NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit a Product Liability Case?

Product liability is a legal field where big manufacturing, distributing, or other companies are involved in malpractices intentionally or unintentionally. The injury or malpractice results from the defective manufacturing process, using dangerous raw materials that impose harm, or wrong distribution methods. 

A product liability case arises when a certain formula is discovered defective. It might need proper information about potential risks or is contaminated. One can file a product liability case against baby formulas in the following ways:

The Negligence of Manufacturers to Not Aware People of Potential Risks

Negligence from the manufacturer’s side may result in dangerous outcomes. In the baby formula cases, manufacturers Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson were supposed to inform people about the risks of their products. However, they claimed that they were not aware of the risks, so they couldn’t inform people. 

As a result, they failed to warn customers about the increased health risks of NEC in infants. So, a parent can file a case against these manufacturers stating that they failed to warn them. Amidst the complicated legal journey, a solicitor who specializes in mass tort cases can help a victim find deserving justice and compensation.

Defective Manufacturing of Products

A few baby formula lawsuits were discovered faulty as they included ingredients that could increase the chances of developing NEC in babies. Usually, manufacturers use cow milk as the main ingredient to make these products. 

However, some brands also use bovine milk to manufacture the baby formula. This ingredient has a higher chance of developing NEC. So, a caregiver or parent can file a case due to the contaminated or defective manufacturing process.

Defective Design, Where Product Defects Cannot be Easily Identified

The defective design of a product makes the plaintiff’s job of proving the case more complicated. Although a lawyer will guide you, it imposes further risks to premature infants. One can file a case based on a defective design.

Final Words

No baby should suffer due to the negligence of a big company. So, if your baby has been diagnosed with NEC due to preemie formula, it’s time you take the right action. Appoint a toxic baby formula lawsuit to get deserving compensation.