NEC (Necrotizing Enterocolitis) Lawsuit

If your infant was born prematurely and drank Enfamil or Similac baby formula then developed digestive problems, required corrective surgery, or passed away, Scout Law Group can help you recover compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering.

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Last Updated: October 9, 2022
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Fact-Checked and Legally Edited by: Attorney Steven J. German
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NEC (Necrotizing Enterocolitis)

If your infant suffered from or passed away from Necrotizing Enterocolitis, commonly called “NEC,” it could be a result of them being fed Similac or Enfamil baby formula. The manufacturers of these baby formulas -- Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson -- may be liable for causing the conditions that led your child to develop NEC. This could give you the option to file a claim for product liability or wrongful death on behalf of your child.
NEC Necrotizing Enterocolitis Lawsuit
Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson would often offer incentives to hospitals to purchase their formula exclusively. If a hospital did so, when its doctors needed to provide infants with baby formula their only choice was Abbott Labs and Mead Johnson products.

Abbott Laboratories & Mead Johnson

Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson knew their baby formula was dangerous to premature infants but did nothing to warn families and give them a choice.

Abbott Laboratories & Mead Johnson
Approximately 10% of premature infants ("premies") end up suffering with NEC

Why are premies susceptible to NEC?

Infants born prematurely have underdeveloped lungs and intestines. The intestines need oxygen to develop properly, and underdeveloped lungs cannot deliver oxygen to them efficiently. Without adequate oxygen the intestines become inflamed or may even deteriorate, which allows bacteria and waste to escape from the bowel and enter the bloodstream causing a life-threatening infection.

Ironically, products like Enfamil and Similac are advertised to help premature babies develop while in the hospital. However, it is believed they may not help at all, or may even stunt intestinal development. Enfamil and Similac are derived from cow's milk, which premies cannot properly digest, and this contributes to the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut.

NEC symptoms can vary but typically start to appear within the first two weeks after an infant is born prematurely. These symptoms also seem to form in infants fed baby formula, or infants fed breast milk with formula as a supplement.

Symptoms start gradually and then grow worse, often in the following order:

  • Intolerance to Feeding
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting of green bile
  • Bloody stools
  • Abnormally low respiratory rate
  • Abnormally low heart rate
NEC Symptoms

Frequently asked questions:

What brands of baby formula qualify for an NEC lawsuit?

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Similac, made by Abbot Laboratories, Enfamil, made by Mead Johnson, and any other formula derived from cow's milk that was given to premature infants 24-32 weeks old.

How long do I have to file a NEC/baby formula lawsuit?

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It depends on which state you live in, and where your child was diagnosed with NEC. The deadline to file a lawsuit is called the statute of limitations and it varies from state to state, but is often “tolled” (postponed) because the injured party is a minor. Our attorneys can help you determine the statute of limitations that applies to your case and take action to protect your child's rights.

Will my child have to do anything if I file?

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No. These claims can be handled by the child’s parents. The child's medical records will be part of your claim, but the child will usually not be directly involved in this type of lawsuit.

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