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Missouri NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits

Nothing is as precious and fragile as a prematurely born infant. Parents of these most vulnerable babies take every precaution and seek all avenues to boost the health, growth, and well-being of their medically fragile children, including seeking out the most nourishing baby formulas and fortifiers to help them to thrive. But when formula mega-manufacturers prioritize profits over the safety of vulnerable newborns, the results can be catastrophic.

The medical community has long been aware of the connection between baby formula derived from cow’s milk and instances of deadly Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) in premature newborns. Despite the urging of the scientific community, major baby formula manufacturers in the United States failed to pursue research into this connection, and instead, chose to market their cow’s milk-based infant formulas as “safe for premature infants” and did not include the information on warning labels. Some brands were specifically marketed for premature infants, including fortifiers fed to mostly breastfed babies in NICUs around the country. 

Sadly, many parents in the U.S. witnessed their premature infants suffer through deadly NEC infections, often resulting in high-risk bowel surgeries with lifelong medical complications. Many premature infants have tragically died from NEC. 

If your premature baby suffered or died from NEC in Missouri, you can join the growing list of parents who’ve taken on powerful baby formula manufacturers to hold them accountable for the harm caused to tiny infants.

Missouri NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits

What Can a Missouri NEC Baby Formula Lawyer Do for My Family?

The attorneys at the law firm of Knapp & Roberts are passionate about ensuring parents have their day in court to address the harm caused by NEC triggered by cow’s milk-based baby formulas misleadingly marketed as safe to feed to preemies. With over 2 decades of experience in product liability cases and strong resources within the Missouri medical community, our attorneys stand ready to take on the powerful manufacturers of America’s most widely used baby formula brands.

When small infants suffer from life-threatening NEC, the costs of medical treatment can quickly escalate into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many of the surviving children go on to endure a lifetime of medical complications related to the life-saving bowel surgeries they underwent to combat the NEC infection. The skilled attorneys at Knapp & Roberts of Missouri will investigate your child’s unique case, prove liability on the part of negligent manufacturers, and strategize the best way forward to help recover both economic and non-economic damages for your family.

What is NEC and How Do Infants Contract it?

Necrotizing Enterocolitis is a life-threatening gastrointestinal illness sometimes suffered by medically fragile newborns, especially premature infants born before 37 weeks of gestation. NEC has historically been the most common gastrointestinal illness in premature infants. Symptoms of NEC may begin to present in premature babies during their second or third week of life when an overgrowth of a dangerous bacteria causes infection, inflammation, and eventually the death of the cells forming an infant’s intestines. The bacteria comes from a component of cow’s milk known as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. Premature infants have immature digestive systems that cannot fight off this type of infection which may cause a perforation or hole to form in a section of the intestines, allowing deadly bacteria to invade the body cavity and bloodstream. This commonly leads to sepsis if not promptly corrected with surgery. Because a major surgery performed on a fragile infant is also life-threatening, many babies infected with NEC do not survive.

The bacteria that are known to cause NEC has been identified in cow’s milk-based baby formulas produced by the major U.S. manufacturers, Abbott Laboratories, and Mead Johnson under the popular brand names, Enfamil and Similac.

What Brands of Formula Cause a Risk of NEC in Premature Babies?

Cow’s milk-based baby formulas produced by both Abbott and Mead Johnson manufacturers are now the subject of hundreds of lawsuits from parents seeking accountability and compensation for the harm done to their fragile newborns. These products were marketed under the widely-known brand names, Similac and Enfamil. The following Similac formulas are associated with an increased risk to premature infants:

  • Similac Alimentum
  • Similac Alimentum Expert Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
  • Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
  • Similac Special Care 20
  • Similac Special Care 24
  • Similac Special Care 30

Several baby formulas manufactured by Mead Johnson and produced under the popular brand name, Enfamil, are also linked to life-threatening NEC infections in preemies and other medically fragile or low birth weight infants. Enfamil brands named in multiple lawsuits include the following cow’s milk-based formulas:

  • Enfamil 24 Plus DHA & ARA Supplement
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Enfamil Human Milk Formula Acidified Liquid
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Liquid Standard Protein
  • EnfaCare Powder
  • Enfamil NeuroPro EnfaCare
  • Enfamil Premature 20 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 30 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal/fl oz HP

The brands listed above are commonly used in NICU facilities nationwide and fed to premature infants at home. Both Abbott and Mead Johnson companies marketed these baby formulas and fortifiers as “safe for premature infants” and many were directly marketed as premature infant nutrition.

Parents of premature infants were not informed of the potential hazard of cow’s-milk based formulas and manufacturers failed in their duty to list this risk on the product labels. Some parents of primarily breastfed babies may not have known that their infants were fed cow’s-milk based fortifiers while in the NICU.

Am I Eligible for a Necrotizing Enterocolitis Baby Formula Lawsuit in Missouri?

If your vulnerable premature infant was harmed by NEC after consuming cow’s milk-based infant formula, it’s time to hold the mega-manufacturers of baby formulas in the U.S. accountable for failing to warn parents of the risks to premature babies. Families impacted by NEC are eligible for an NEC baby formula lawsuit in Missouri if their case meets the following criteria:

  • Their child was premature (born at less than 30 weeks gestation)
  • Their infant received an Enfamil or Similac brand formula or fortifier with a cow’s milk base
  • Their child received a diagnosis of necrotizing enterocolitis 
  • Their premature infant was never formally diagnosed with NEC but suffered from a bacterial infection, bowel perforation, sepsis, or meningitis
  • Their baby underwent emergency surgery for bowel resection after an intestinal infection

Many parents who were never given an official diagnosis but whose premature babies were fed these formulas and suffered or died from intestinal infections and related complications now suspect the infant formulas are directly linked to their child’s illness.

A Missouri baby formula lawsuit attorney is ready to evaluate and investigate these cases to determine liability by examining medical records, discovering which formula brands were consumed by affected infants, consulting medical experts in the field, and crafting a compelling case for compensation for infants and their families.

What Damages Are Available in NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits?
What Damages Are Available in NEC Baby Formula Lawsuits?

When major manufacturers market their products as safe for infants and fail to warn parents of known or reasonably suspected dangers, they are liable for damages. Product liability addresses the following points:

  • That the manufacturers owed a duty of care to prevent harm from their products
  • That they breached this duty by acting negligently or with wrongdoing
  • That the negligent breach directly led to injuries
  • That the injuries caused real economic and non-economic damages

A successful lawsuit against the producers of Enfamil and Similac formula makers can ensure that parents recover full compensation for damages including the following:

  • Medical costs associated with their child’s NEC (Often as much as $500,000)
  • Future medical costs for lifelong health complications associated with NEC and related surgery
  • Lost income when one or both parents lose time from work to care for a sick infant
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma 
  • Wrongful death compensation for funeral expenses and emotional anguish in cases of fatal NEC infections

At Knapp & Roberts, our Missouri-based legal team has compassion for infants and their families who have suffered due to powerful manufacturers who prioritized profits over the safety of medically fragile infants. While monetary compensation cannot undo the harm or erase the trauma, it can help families to move forward with fewer financial burdens.

Why Choose Us?

Knapp & Roberts have over 20 years of experience in product liability cases and a strong background in litigating cases involving the medical field. We understand the suffering associated with a newborn’s struggle for survival with a life-threatening infection in their already fragile bodies. We focus our full attention on achieving justice in the form of financial compensation for families whose lives have been forever changed due to a manufacturer’s failure to take reasonable measures to adequately inform parents of the dangers. Had parents understood the risks, they might have chosen to avoid cow’s milk-based formula for their preemies in favor of pumped breast milk from the mother, donated breast milk, or plant-based infant formulas. 

At Knapp & Roberts, we understand parents’ frustration and believe others need to hear your individual story. Contact our product liability lawyers today for a free evaluation of your case so we can begin a strong strategy to help your family gain the maximum compensation available for your damages.

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