Enfamil® Baby Formula NEC Lawsuit

Enfamil NEC lawsuits filed across the country have caused many to question the safety of this popular baby formula. Parents of premature infants are concerned their children's digestive health problems (such as necrotizing enterocolitis or NEC) were caused by Enfamil.
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Updated On:
December 28, 2022
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7–8 minutes

Enfamil NEC Lawsuits

Enfamil NEC lawsuits filed across the country have caused many to question the safety of this popular baby formula. Parents of premature infants are concerned their children's digestive health problems (such as necrotizing enterocolitis or NEC) were caused by Enfamil.

Recent studies show that newborns receiving baby formula like Enfamil are at a greater risk of developing complications from NEC.

The attorneys at Scout Law Firm are now exploring potential lawsuits against Mead Johnson for product defects in Enfamil production.

NEC is a severe complication for newborns which can often lead to permanent injury, surgery, or death and deserves compensation. Families who bring successful claims could receive a significant financial settlement for the harm their babies suffered.

What is NEC, and why is it so dangerous?

NEC is an infection of the gut that can kill tissue in infants, usually premature babies (born 21-37 weeks). The illness usually develops in the large or small intestine. The "necrotizing" part of the name means that it causes cell death. The necrotizing infection begins in the intestine's inner lining and gradually expands to affect the entire intestinal wall.

There are cases where NEC can be very mild and only cause some discomfort. Other cases of NEC can be severe and even fatal. If not treated quickly, NEC can cause a hole (or perforation) to develop through the intestinal wall, leading to extensive injuries that may require the removal of the colon or other parts of the intestines.

If your child has perforated intestines, it can be life-threatening. Holes in the intestine wall are weak spots that allow dangerous bacteria to escape from the digestive system and enter the abdominal cavity.

When a perforation happens, it can quickly lead to a widespread infection which, in turn, may lead to a deadly infection of the bloodstream called sepsis.

Enfamil increases the risk of NEC in premature infants

Enfamil offers a variety of baby formulas made from cow's milk. This infant formula is given to newborn babies as a substitute for human breast milk.

Cow-based (bovine) formula contains complex proteins that can injure newborns--because of this danger, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against feeding Enfamil to premature infants.

Medical research has found Enfamil baby formula significantly increases the risk of a rare and potentially fatal bowel infection called NEC.

The earliest medical evidence of the connection to NEC dates back to the 1990s.

A 2006 medical paper found that premature babies who were given Enfamil formula or nutritional supplements had an increase in cases of NEC. Premature infants fed with cow-milk formula are at a 100% higher risk for NEC, which is more than 10X higher than breast milk.

In 2008, a consumer advocacy organization filed a lawsuit against Mead Johnson, the manufacturers of Enfamil, claiming that their use of preservatives and stabilizers could have been responsible for NEC in infants.

In 2009, the U.S. FDA urged Mead Johnson to revise its labeling on infant formula to include information about NEC.

Mead Johnson should have warned parents

The manufacturer of Enfamil, Mead Johnson, has long been aware of the scientific evidence and clinical studies that show that Enfamil puts premature babies at higher risk of NEC. Despite this evidence, Mead Johnson declined to include warnings about NEC for consumers and doctors. Mead Johnson's failure to warn happened continuously from the 1990s until December 2021. 

Mead Johnson knew they would lose profits if they warned that Enfamil was dangerous for premature babies.

Without a doubt, manufacturers have a legal obligation to warn consumers about known risks involving their products. Mead Johnson had a duty to warn that Enfamil posed a higher risk of NEC in prematurely born infants. Mead Johnson ignored the obligation to warn consumers to maintain the marketability of its product.

Status of Enfamil Baby Formula Litigation

"Enfamil NEC Litigation" is a relatively recent development. More lawsuits are being filed concerning Enfamil formula every week all around the country.

Every lawsuit against Enfamil claims that Mead Johnson failed to warn parents about side effects, that they sold defective formula, and breached warranties of safety to consumers.

If the volume of Enfamil lawsuits continues to rise, we will likely see the federal courts attempt to group the cases in multidistrict litigation (MDL). MDLs are not class actions. They allow individual plaintiffs to join together for pretrial discovery purposes, but your Enfamil case would still be handled separately by the court at trial.

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How Much Will You Receive in Your Settlement for the Enfamil NEC Lawsuits?

Much of the value of your case will depend on what your child was caused to suffer by Mead Johnson. Because this litigation is so new, there is not much data to estimate settlement values in these cases.

Past medical malpractice cases that involved NEC injuries in infants resulted in settlements of one to four million dollars; however, these settlements were against doctors and hospitals, which juries can find sympathetic even if they have made a terrible mistake.

Your family's claim against Mead Johnson is likely to be much more valuable because it is against a large corporation that chose not to warn parents and doctors about their dangerous products.

Cases involving injuries to infants tend to result in more significant compensatory damages and, in some cases, punitive damages.

As your attorney, we determine and explain to the court the extent of your child's injury and how it may affect the rest of their life. We will demand compensation for treatment, surgeries, and long-term intestinal damage. 

Our experts will also review if the trauma of the treatments has caused other health problems, including developmental delay and emotional damage. Dickey Law Firm will do its best to maximize your compensation, so you have every resource needed to care for your child.

To estimate the value of your baby formula case, please consult our Case Value Calculator and then call us regarding the specifics of your child's situation.

Statute of Limitations for Enfamil NEC Lawsuits

The deadline to file an Enfamil NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits is now. The statute of limitations in an Enfamil baby formula is complicated. The deadline for filing a lawsuit varies by state. 

Most states have a discovery or fraud rule that extends the time to file. In addition, there may be different time limits for the parents and children in these cases. Only an experienced NEC lawyer can analyze your family's specific legal situation and protect your rights.

The short answer is that it is not too late to help your child, even if they are teenagers or young adults. Mead Johnson knowingly sold defective baby formula as early as the 1990s. However, it is essential to take some action soon because, at some point, the courts may decide it is too late to file in your particular situation.

Scout Law Group would be honored to talk with you and take immediate action for your family.

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Enfamil NEC Lawsuit Frequently Asked Questions

Who is responsible for Enfamil baby formula?

Enfamil is one of the most prominent brands created by Mead Johnson. Mead Johnson is a multibillion-dollar company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with production facilities in 12 countries. Mead Johnson has known about the potential risk of NEC from its best-selling baby formula since the 1990s.

What if I don't know what baby formula my child received?

You do not have to know what formula or nutritional supplement the hospital gave to file a claim. Our law firm will order your infant's treating hospital's medical and nutritional records. Our expert doctors and nurses will help you get the answers you need to file a baby formula case.

What if my child died several years ago?

Tragically, thousands of premature infants have died from NEC since the 1990s. This condition can be caused by cow-based baby formulas like Enfamil and Similac. If your child was premature and received formula or nutritional supplements, their death may be related to these products. Even if their death happened several years ago, Dickey Law Firm can have your child's records reviewed by a medical expert and get you answers.