NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit

Parents of premature infants diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) after using toxic baby formulas may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Several Similac and Enfamil formulas are cited in NEC lawsuits. In March 2024, an Illinois jury awarded $60 million to mothers whose infants died from NEC after using Enfamil.

This is an active lawsuit

See If You Qualify for a Baby Formula Lawsuit

If your baby developed NEC after being fed Similac or Enfamil, you may be entitled to compensation. Get a free case review today.

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Last Modified: May 13, 2024
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Latest NEC Formula Lawsuit Updates

As of May 2024, there were 496 necrotizing enterocolitis baby formula lawsuits pending in multidistrict litigation. MDL 3026 is before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer in the Northern District of Illinois. Litigation is still in the initial stages, and there have been no approved settlements or jury verdicts.

Status of NEC Formula Lawsuits
  • May 2024:
    MDL Judge Pallmeyer ordered that plaintiffs must have specific evidence that an infant ingested a Mead Johnson product before naming the company as a defendant in the litigation. Evidence may include medical and feeding records from birth.
  • March 2024:
    An Illinois jury ruled that Mead Johnson, a subsidiary of Reckitt Benckiser, must compensate the mother of a premature infant who died from an intestinal disease after being given the company's baby formula, Enfamil, with a verdict of $60 million.
  • February 2024:
    Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer scheduled hearings that involve several plaintiffs on sealed/private motions for March 2024.
  • December 2023:
    Four bellwether cases had been selected, but the start dates for the trials weren't confirmed. Lawyers expected the first trials might happen in 2024.
  • April 2023:
    Lawyers continue to negotiate how discovery is to be conducted.
  • March 2023:
    The judge scheduled science day proceedings for May 3, 2023. Science day allows the parties to present an overview of general medical and scientific issues to the court.
  • December 2022:
    Defendants selected four cases for bellwether test trials: Clarke, Cresap, Inman and Mar.
  • October 2022:
    Plaintiffs selected four bellwether test trials: Brown, Diggs, Lopez and Koeth. Randomly selected bellwether cases are: McCarthy, Jacobs, Kelton and Donaldson.
Show More

There is also a separate class action MDL 3037 in Illinois for Abbott’s recalled infant formulas. These lawsuits are unrelated to the NEC formula lawsuits.

Why Are People Filing Baby Formula Lawsuits?

Some premature babies who are fed certain Similac and Enfamil formulas may be at risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, a rare intestinal disorder. Parents have begun filing NEC lawsuits against baby formula manufacturers Mead Johnson and Abbott for failure to warn consumers.

The lawsuits state that Abbott and Mead Johnson should have warned about the risk of NEC in their baby formula products but continued to market these products as safe.

Why are people filing baby formula lawsuits? - Featuring Michelle Llamas, BCPA
Michelle Llamas, BCPA | 0:51 Why are people filing baby formula lawsuits?
Is your premature baby suffering from necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) after being fed Similac or Enfamil?
Replay Video
Senior Writer Michelle Llamas explains how parents are filing lawsuits against baby formula manufacturers after links to a fatal disease.

NEC is a serious gastrointestinal condition that causes intestinal tissue death and may be fatal in as many as 50% of cases. It causes intestinal inflammation that may cause holes in the intestine. Bacteria from the intestine can leak into the abdomen or blood, causing serious illness or deadly blood infections.

Baby Formula Brands in NEC Lawsuits

Baby formula brands in NEC lawsuits include several Enfamil and Similac cow’s milk baby formulas. Premature babies fed baby formula were at a significantly higher risk of developing NEC than those fed human milk exclusively, according to an observational study published in Neonatology.

Another study published in The Journal of Pediatrics found the risks were lower in breastfed babies than in those fed a combination of mother’s milk and infant formula.

Baby formula brands mentioned in Similac and Enfamil lawsuits include:
  • Similac Special Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier
  • Similac NeoSure
  • Similac Alimentum
  • Similac Alimentum Expert Care
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Concentrated Liquid
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Similac Liquid Protein Fortifier
  • Similac Special Care 20
  • Similac Special Care 24
  • Similac Special Care 24 High Protein
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Powder
  • Similac Special Care 30
  • Similac Human Milk Fortifier Hydrolyzed Protein- Concentrated Liquid
  • Enfacare Powder
  • Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Liquid High Protein
  • Enfamil Milk Fortifier Liquid Standard Protein
  • Enfamil NeuroPro Enfacare
  • Enfamil Premature 20 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal
  • Enfamil Premature 24 Cal/fl oz HP
  • Enfamil Premature 30 Cal
  • Enfamil 24 and DHA & ARA Supplement

Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories products Enfamil and Similac have no warnings about NEC as a side effect of baby formula or proper instructions or guidelines for their use, according to parents who filed a Similac lawsuit or Enfamil lawsuit. The companies also marketed their products as safe and beneficial for premature infants in spite of the potential risks.

Parents are suing for extensive financial losses and emotional distress related to their baby’s injuries or death.

Who Qualifies to File an NEC Baby Formula Lawsuit?

Similac and Enfamil have failed to warn consumers of the risks of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Parents who had a premature infant diagnosed with NEC after being fed toxic baby formulas can file a NEC lawsuit for potential compensation.

Your baby may have been fed Similac or Enfamil in the hospital. If you are unsure, your baby formula lawyer may be able to help you find out. Make sure you provide the name of the hospital and the hospital’s location.

After your baby was discharged from the hospital, you may have fed your baby a Similac or Enfamil formula product. NEC baby formula lawyers encourage parents to keep any receipts, proof of purchase, packaging or boxes from the formula for evidence  in their potential baby formula lawsuit.

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Have Enfamil and Similac Formulas Been Recalled?

Enfamil and Similac have not been recalled for the link between baby formula and NEC. But there have been isolated store recalls as a result of product tampering and there was a February 2022 recall for potential bacterial infection.

The tampering incident came to light when a few mothers reported that their Enfamil products contained flour instead of formula. In another incident, babies got sick and some died after drinking Enfamil that reportedly caused bacterial infections. The FDA tested the formula and declared it safe.

In February 2022, Abbott Nutrition issued a baby formula recall for certain lots of Similac, EleCare and Alimentum manufactured at its Sturgis, Michigan, facility after four babies suffered Cronobacter sakazakii infections and one baby became infected with Salmonella Newport. Two of the babies died.

The FDA released a preliminary inspection report in March 2022 that said that Abbott didn’t have “a system of process controls” in place to “ensure that infant formula does not become adulterated due to the presence of microorganisms.”

In June 2022, FDA received an additional report of an infant death that could be related to bacterial contamination. The same month, Abbott’s Sturgis plant reopened to help ease the baby formula shortage caused in part by the recall.

Finding an NEC Baby Formula Lawyer

When finding an NEC baby formula lawyer, it’s important to find someone who has experience handling mass torts, which are large litigations for hundreds or thousands of claimants. These torts are typically against large corporations with big legal teams of their own.

Baby formula lawsuits are complex and could involve a lot of complicated science and law. Lawyers with extensive experience in large injury litigations are equipped to gather the proper evidence and prove their client’s case before a judge or jury. It’s also helpful to find an NEC baby formula lawyer who works with a firm that has a track record of settling cases and getting jury verdicts.

Levin Papantonio Rafferty

Levin Papantonio Rafferty logo partners with the award-winning national law firm Levin Papantonio Rafferty. The firm has been fighting for their clients since 1955.

Levin has been named one of the best law firms by U.S. News & World Report, Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers, among other awards. The firm has won settlements and jury verdicts in excess of $30 billion for clients affected by defective products.

Questions to Ask Your NEC Baby Formula Lawyer

Am I eligible to file an NEC lawsuit?
Only a licensed NEC baby formula lawyer can tell you if you are eligible to file an NEC lawsuit. They can tell you about time limits to file a case in your state and whether you meet the injury criteria.
What information do I need to provide to file a baby formula lawsuit?
A baby formula lawyer should be able to tell you what documentation and other information you will need to provide to prove your case.
How can a baby formula lawyer help me?
Make sure you ask your baby formula lawyer how they can help you file your case. In many cases, a lawyer can help you gather the documentation you need to prove your case. They should also be able to tell you what to expect and keep you informed of your case’s status.
What is the estimated settlement amount for an NEC baby formula case?
NEC baby formula settlement amounts can be difficult to determine, especially when there haven’t been any approved settlements or jury verdicts in the litigation. An NEC baby formula lawyer may be able to provide you with an average settlement figure based on their experience and explain what determines settlement amounts.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.