NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit

Cow’s milk-based baby formula and milk fortifier products (like Enfamil™ and Similac®) can greatly increase the risk of premature and low-birth-weight babies developing a potentially fatal intestinal disease called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

If your premature infant was fed cow’s milk-based formula and developed digestive or stomach problems, you may be entitled to compensation.

Even if you’re unsure about the type of formula, contact Sokolove Law today to see if you can take legal action. Even cases from years ago may still qualify.

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Breaking News: Popular Baby Formula Brands Linked to NEC in Infants

Baby formula and milk fortifier products that are made with cow’s milk can put infants — particularly low-birth-weight and preterm infants — at risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a serious, potentially fatal gastrointestinal disease. This includes certain products by popular baby formula brands Enfamil and Similac.

Despite the growing body of evidence that establishes this risk, however, there have been no Enfamil, Similac, or cow’s milk-based baby formula recalls at this time. To seek justice, many families across the country have turned to filing NEC lawsuits.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis Lawsuit Updates 2022

Cow's milk based formula and baby food on a grocery store shelf
Cow’s milk-based formulas line the shelves of stores across the country but may pose health risks to premature infants.

The first necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) infant formula lawsuits were filed against baby formula manufacturers several years ago.

Since then, many other lawsuits have been filed across the country concerning cow’s milk-based formulas and the development of NEC in premature infants.

These NEC infant formula lawsuits claim that:

  • Although cow’s milk-based fortifiers and formulas are originally believed to be safe, extensive scientific research has confirmed these products can significantly increase the risk of NEC in low-birth-weight and preterm babies
  • Product warnings and instructions were too broad and vague, failing to even mention the increased risk of intestinal problems like NEC and death
  • Despite knowing of the heightened NEC risk, defendants have made no changes to the formula, packaging, instructions, or warning labels and have continued to use cow’s milk as the foundation of certain products, even though safer alternatives are available for preterm nutrition
  • Defendants aggressively marketed their cow’s milk-based products as medically endorsed, equally safe, and nutritionally equivalent to human breast milk and targeted their ads to parents of premature infants
  • Defendants have allegedly employed deceptive tactics to imply that the products are similar to or derived from breast milk when they really contain cow’s milk

What Is Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)?

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious, potentially fatal, intestinal disease that mainly affects preterm infants.

NEC occurs when areas in the small or large intestine become injured or inflamed, which can cause intestinal tissue to die and holes to form in the intestines and intestinal walls. Bacteria can then leak out from the holes and into the abdomen, which can cause severe infections and can even be fatal.

“The only consistent observations made in infants who develop NEC are the presence of prematurity and formula feeding.”

– Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

NEC often develops within the first 2 weeks of life in a premature infant who is being fed with formula as opposed to breast milk.

In some cases of NEC, these feedings have occurred while the premature baby is still in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), leaving parents confused as to what may have caused their child’s condition.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis Complications

Sadly, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious condition that can often be fatal. The mortality rate for babies who develop NEC is estimated to be around 40%, making it the leading cause of overall infant mortality in the U.S., according to the NEC Society.

About 50% of the infants who survive NEC will develop long-term health complications, according to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).

Some of these health issues include:

  • Bowel or intestinal perforation
  • Brain injuries (like cerebral palsy or bleeding in the brain)
  • HIE (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, a disorder that occurs when the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen for extended periods)
  • Intestinal scarring
  • Intestinal stricture (when tissue in the intestine heals but the scarring narrows the inside of the bowels and causes obstructions)
  • Sepsis
  • Short gut syndrome, also called short bowel syndrome or SBS (a malabsorption syndrome that can occur after excessive or critical areas of the small intestines have been removed)

The cost of treating NEC and the health complications it may cause can often be too much for many families — but you may be able to take legal action that could hold the formula manufacturer accountable and recover compensation for your child’s treatment.

If your child suffered from any of these NEC health complications after being fed cow’s milk-based infant formula, contact Sokolove Law today.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) Symptoms in Infants

Because of the high mortality rate for babies with NEC, it is very important to watch out for the signs of NEC and act quickly if you recognize them.

Signs and symptoms of NEC in babies may include:

  • Bloating or swelling of the belly (abdominal distention)
  • Bloody stool
  • Decreased activity (lethargy)
  • Greenish-colored fluid (bile) in the stomach
  • Poor tolerance of feeding (not being able to digest food)
  • Temperature instability

If your infant is showing any of these NEC symptoms, consult a physician immediately.

Who Can File a Baby Formula Lawsuit?

You may be able to file an NEC baby formula lawsuit if your child was:

  • Born prematurely
  • Fed cow’s milk-based formula or milk fortifier
  • Diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), suffered from severe stomach or intestinal problems, or needed to have surgery to help the problems

Even if this happened years ago, you may still have a case. If your child suffered and it could have been prevented, you have rights.

If you’re eligible, our experienced baby formula lawyers can help you navigate the legal process at no out-of-pocket costs to you and your family.

Not Sure If You’re Eligible?

During a free, no-obligation case review, a member of our team can listen to your story and let you know what your legal options may be.

Get a Free Case Review

How to File an NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit

A judge swinging a gavel

If you become a client of Sokolove Law, our infant formula lawyers can handle every step of the legal process for you. Let us take care of the legal legwork while you focus on your family during this difficult time.

Though every case differs, the process generally involves your lawyer and legal team:

  • Getting more information to see if you can take legal action
  • Gathering the evidence and testimony needed to build your case
  • Filing the NEC infant formula lawsuit on your behalf
  • Pursuing compensation in the form of a baby formula settlement or verdict

NEC Infant Formula Lawsuit Settlements and Verdicts

Generally speaking, NEC baby formula lawsuits may provide compensation to affected families in one of the following ways:

  • NEC Lawsuit Settlements: Infant formula settlements occur when the plaintiffs (you and your legal team) and the defendants (the formula makers) are able to agree on an amount of compensation for your child’s injuries. This usually happens before the case goes to trial.
  • NEC Verdicts: If an infant formula settlement isn’t reached, your case may proceed to trial, where a judge and jury can hear your claim and determine the outcome of your case through a verdict.

What to Look for in a Necrotizing Enterocolitis Lawyer

Navigating the complex legal system without the help of an experienced toxic baby formula lawyer can make life after an NEC diagnosis even harder for your family. But not all lawyers are able to offer you the same resources and advantages.

To find a necrotizing enterocolitis attorney who can handle your claim, be sure to look for a law firm with:

  • Free, No-Obligation Case Evaluations: Wondering if you can take legal action? During a free consultation, our team can listen to your story and let you know what your legal options may be.
  • Over 40 Years of Experience: Sokolove Law has been helping injured clients and their families seek justice and compensation for more than four decades. Let us put our experience to work for you.
  • Nationwide Availability: As a national law firm, Sokolove Law is able to help clients across the country get the help they deserve, regardless of where they may be.
  • Results in the Billions: Our personal injury lawyers have recovered over $8.7 Billion for thousands of clients nationwide.
  • Legal Help at No Upfront Cost: We’ll only get paid if your case results in compensation. There are no out-of-pocket fees to work with our team.

Get Help Pursuing Justice and Compensation for Your Child

mother feeding her newborn baby a bottle

If your child developed NEC after being fed Enfamil, Similac, or other cow’s milk-based infant formulas, you may be able to take legal action on their behalf — and we may be able to help.

As a national product liability law firm, Sokolove Law has over 40 years of experience helping injured clients and their families pursue the justice and compensation they deserve. In this time, we’ve managed to secure over $8.7 Billion for thousands of families all across the country.

Get a free case review or call (800) 995-1212 today to learn more about your legal options and how we may be able to help. There’s no cost or obligation to speak with our team.

Note: All brands are trademarks of their respective companies.

Necrotizing Enterocolitis Formula Lawsuit FAQs

How long do I have to file a necrotizing enterocolitis formula lawsuit?

You only have a limited amount of time to file an NEC infant formula lawsuit due to state laws called statutes of limitations. Because these time frames vary from state to state, it can be difficult to know exactly how much time you have.

Once the deadline passes, however, you won’t be able to take legal action over your child’s injuries again.

Don’t miss your chance to pursue justice — contact Sokolove Law today.

How much does a toxic baby formula lawyer cost?

At Sokolove Law, our NEC baby formula lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, which means there are no upfront or out-of-pocket fees. We only get paid if your case results in compensation.

Does Similac and Enfamil formula cause NEC?

Baby formula and milk fortifier products that utilize cow’s milk-based proteins (like Similac and Enfamil) have been linked to increased rates of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature infants.

This risk is much higher in premature and low-birth-weight infants, who are particularly susceptible to NEC because of their underdeveloped digestive systems.

If your baby experienced NEC or any related health complications, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Similac or Enfamil formula manufacturers. Contact us today to see if you’re eligible to file an Enfamil or Similac lawsuit.

Is there cow’s milk in Similac?

Many Similac baby formula and milk fortifier products on the market today have cow’s milk in them, including:

  • Similac® 360 Total Care®
  • Similac® Alimentum®
  • Similac® Expert Care® Alimentum®
  • Similac® Go & Grow
  • Similac® Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac® Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac® Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Similac® Liquid Protein Fortifier
  • Similac® NeoSure®
  • Similac® Special Care®
  • Similac® Special Care® 20
  • Similac® Special Care® 24
  • Similac® Special Care® 24 High Protein
  • Similac® Special Care® 30

Unfortunately, these cow’s milk-based products can endanger the health of premature babies, increasing their risk of developing a potentially fatal intestinal disease called NEC.

Worse, in some cases, premature infants are fed these cow’s milk-based Similac products while still under the care of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), something many parents don’t know about until it’s too late.

If your baby was premature and developed health complications after being fed cow’s milk-based Similac baby formulas or milk fortifiers, contact Sokolove Law today for a free, no-obligation legal case review. You may be able to pursue compensation through a Similac lawsuit.

What company makes Similac formula?

Abbott Laboratories, Inc. makes Similac formula. Unfortunately, research strongly suggests that formula and milk fortifiers made with cow’s milk, like Similac, have been shown to increase the risk of NEC — a serious, potentially life-threatening disease — in premature babies or babies with low birth weights.

If your baby suffered health complications relating to NEC after being fed Similac formula, you may be able to hold the makers of Similac accountable and pursue compensation for your child’s medical care through a Similac lawsuit. See if you’re eligible to take action today.

Is there cow’s milk in Enfamil?

Many different Enfamil baby formula and milk fortifier products utilize cow’s milk, even those intended for low-birth-weight and premature infants.

Some Enfamil cow’s milk-based formulas and fortifiers include:

  • Enfamil™ DHA-In-Sol
  • Enfamil™ 24 Calorie Formula
  • Enfamil Enfagrow® Toddler and Enfagrow Premium™ Toddler
  • Enfamil Enspire™
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder (HCPM)
  • Enfamil Liquid Human Milk Fortifier High Protein
  • Enfamil Liquid Human Milk Fortifier Standard Protein
  • Enfamil NeuroPro™ EnfaCare® Premature Baby Formula
  • Enfamil NeuroPro™ Gentlease®
  • Enfamil Nutramigen®
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 30 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Iron Formula 20 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 24 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature Infant Formula 30 Cal with Iron

Sadly, cow’s milk can be incredibly dangerous when fed to premature infants. It can greatly increase the risk of the baby developing NEC, a potentially deadly intestinal disease.

What many parents may not realize, however, is that their premature infant may be fed cow’s milk-based Enfamil formula or milk fortifiers while still in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This can leave parents wondering what may have caused their child to develop NEC.

If your premature baby developed NEC after being fed cow’s milk formulas, contact Sokolove Law today for a free, no-obligation legal review. You may be eligible to file an Enfamil lawsuit over your child’s injuries.

Who makes Enfamil baby formula?

Mead Johnson & Company, LLC makes Enfamil formula. Sadly, a large body of scientific evidence links cow’s milk-based baby formula and milk fortifier products (like Enfamil) to an increased risk of NEC and other health complications in premature babies.

If your baby was fed Enfamil cow’s milk-based formula and later suffered from health issues like NEC, you may be able to pursue compensation through an Enfamil lawsuit.

Is Enfamil bad for babies? 

Enfamil, Similac, and other cow’s milk-based infant formulas can increase a baby’s risk of developing certain health issues, like necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). This risk is much higher in premature and low-birth-weight babies because their digestive systems aren’t fully formed.

If Enfamil caused your baby to experience NEC, you may be able to hold Enfamil maker Mead Johnson accountable and seek justice for your child. Learn more about filing an Enfamil formula lawsuit today.

What baby formulas can cause NEC?

Any baby formula or milk fortifier product that contains cow’s milk can put low-birth-weight and premature infants at risk of developing NEC.

Unfortunately, many popular baby formula brands utilize cow’s milk proteins in their products, including:

  • Avacare®
  • Baby’s Only®
  • Bobbie®
  • Earth’s Best®
  • Enfamil
  • Gerber®
  • Happy Baby®
  • Holle®
  • Lebenswert™
  • Loulouka™
  • Kendamil®
  • Parent’s Choice®
  • PediaSure®
  • Similac®

If your baby was premature and diagnosed with NEC after being fed cow’s milk-based baby formula or milk fortifier, contact Sokolove Law today for a free, no-obligation legal case review.

During a free case review, we can let you know if you may be eligible to pursue compensation through an NEC baby formula lawsuit.

Author:Sokolove Law Team
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: August 16, 2022

View 5 Sources
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  2. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. "What are the symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)?" Accessed on January 20, 2022. Retrieved from:https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/nec/conditioninfo/symptoms
  3. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD). "Necrotizing enterocolitis." Accessed on January 19, 2022. Retrieved from: https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/9767/necrotizing-enterocolitis
  4. NEC Society. "What is NEC?" Accessed on January 20, 2022. Retrieved from: https://necsociety.org/nec-now/
  5. WebMD. "What Is Necrotizing Enterocolitis?" Accessed on January 20, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/what-is-necrotizing-enterocolitis